Sigmund Freud, the author of “The Interpretation of Dreams” and the founder of Psychoanalysis, once argued that, “A strong experience in the present awakens in the creative writer a memory of an earlier experience (usually belonging to his childhood) from which there now proceeds a wish which finds its fulfillment in the creative work.”
Staircase: The Latest Architecture and News
The Un-Habitat or the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development, whose primary focus is to deal with the challenges of rapid urbanization, has been developing innovative approaches in the urban design field, centered on the active participation of the community. ArchDaily has teamed up with UN-Habitat to bring you weekly news, article, and interviews that highlight this work, with content straight from the source, developed by our editors.
Discover in this feature the first lesson to learn from UN-Habitat, on how to design with and for the people. In order to create great public spaces, the only secret is listening to the community. Questioning “how can we design together”, this article presents cases in Ghana, Brazil, and India, focusing on street, market, and open public spaces implementation projects, where interventions took on participatory approaches and involved local residents from the beginning of the process.
Architecture is constantly changing and adapting to new needs, which are linked to social, economic, technological, political, and demographic changes. In this sense, the aging population is one of the most outstanding changes of the 21st century: The increase in life expectancy and the decrease in fertility rates mean that the older population is increasingly numerous. How can architecture help to provide a better quality of life, promote the autonomy, dignity, and well-being of the elderly?
Guardrails and handrails are two elements that are often confused. While the first is used to close a space and prevent a person from falling, the second is a support bar for balance. Normally standard solutions are used for both elements, but with an attractive design, they can become standout details in a project.
For inspiration on materials, structures, and details of guardrails and handrails, here are 17 notable examples.
Stairs aren't only a means of vertical circulation. Through their might and scale, this building element can easily become the protagonist of a space. From afar one can observe the movement of people; from within the staircase the viewer is treated to new angles and perspectives of the building.
The prominence of staircases in the work of 2001 Pritzker Prize winners Herzog and de Meuron underscore the belief that risers and treads are never solely an element of circulation—they are generators of dynamism and rhythm that influence the essence of their projects.
Spiral staircases save valuable square meters because they occupy a much smaller area than a conventional staircase. With daring shapes and diverse configurations, they can also be iconic objects in projects. However, the design of these staircases requires careful attention so that you can prevent an uncomfortable or dangerous outcome. Although BIM software simplifies this process, it's always important to understand the restrictions and the underlying concepts.
This question can be basic and you may know the answer, but it's always good to remember some elementary calculations that help us to streamline the design process.
As we know, a staircase consists basically of a series of steps, which in turn consist of a tread (the horizontal part, where the foot will rest) and a riser (the vertical part). Although it can vary in its design, each step must also have one or more landings, handrails, and a small nosing. The latter protrudes from the tread over the lower step, allowing to increase its size without adding centimeters to the overall dimensions of the staircase.
Check the effective formula developed by French architect François Blondel, which allows you to determine the correct dimensions of a comfortable and efficient staircase according to its use.
The staircase is a fundamental element for the connection of architectural spaces. But beyond its functional use, in many projects the staircase serves as a sculptural object, offering an opportunity for architects to generate creative spatial forms that animate the built space. In this installment of our Photos of the Week, we present 15 incredible staircases captured by photographers such as Patricia Parinejad, José Campos, and Brigida González.