• Waweru Njuguna

STAIRCASES - Do they only go up and down like a yo-yo?

Some things like the wheel, sliced bread, and staircases needed inventing once and for all. They cannot really be improved much other than changing the permutations to improve the configurations and aesthetics. Their function largely remains the same. Nevertheless, we always seek to get better ways of implementing them in ever more creative styles so as to stand out differently from the bland normal style.

While functionality and safety remain key in these elements of vertical motion, creativity has not hindered some out-of-the-box ideas on how we can achieve this.

They have come full circle and are now used as a central feature or monument of attraction in buildings.

A point to note, we will explore staircases that are featured spaces and not those placed in quirky residual leftover spaces that are victims of poor planning.

Storage stairs

While they already serve the purpose of vertical circulation, you can never have too much storage space. This crafty idea helps utilize spaces under the staircase increasing usability while still maintaining the decent aesthetic value of the staircase.

Combination stairs

These serve to be a very intriguing feature when viewed from two separate elevations.

The front elevation gives the illusion of threads spiraling radially off the centre towards the top and bottom.

Floating stairs

These stand true to their name. They are designed to create anxiety and the feel of walking on air. Precision engineering and excellent workmanship are required to achieve this level of detail.

Tension stairs

This staircase is probably one of the less common ideas that are executed in the country.

Tension cables double up as support and railing support for the steps.

They too can be categorized as floating stairs.


Concrete stairs can also be moulded to have the underside mimic the top profile of the staircase.

One of my favorites, it breaks away from the traditional bland flat soffit observed in most concrete staircases.

Minimalist square

The highlight would be the formation of the suspending tension squares forming from the top of the soffit propping up the floating steps.

It accords more creativity on the stair design than the straight-stranded cables from previously discussed.

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