A Step Above The Rest: 15 Spectacular Modern Staircases

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Going far beyond their practical function of connecting one level of an interior to the next, these modern staircase designs make a striking statement, often doubling as a sculptural element or offering some other additional purpose. Some act as amphitheater seats, some have built-in gardens and some simply steal the spotlight no matter what else is in the room.


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Inspired by the ‘circles and ovals’ that make up Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, this amphitheater-style staircase stands as the heat of an adult learning center in Denmark by architecture studio CEBRA. The lines of the multi-functional staircase echo those of the curving white balconies that jut out into the atrium at every level.

Glossy Spiral Stairs in a Modular Library

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Soaring 115 feet toward the elevated ceiling, this glossy white building-within-a-building adds a library to a modern medical research center at a Rotterdam hospital. It basically functions like one very big bookcase within the large open space, featuring spiraling staircases on either end.

4-Story Living Staircase

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A garden, tea bar and library can be found within a stunning four-story spiraling staircase by designer Paul Cocksedge at the Ampersand office building for creative technology businesses in London. Designed to encourage interaction between workers, it features a different function at every level, including a small curated selection of books on the first floor. Pick your own mint from the garden boxes along the railing to make tea at a hot water machine once you’ve reached the top.

Floating Staircase in an All-Black Room

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The warm wood lining the interior of this floating staircase by Hidden Fortress makes it glow against the black surfaces of a Berlin concept store, giving it the feel of an optical illusion. The maritime pine used throughout the store is left in its natural state upstairs, so the staircase serves as a visual connection to the next level as well as a literal one.

Partially Suspended Staircase

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Italian architecture firm Francesco Librizzi Studio suspends most of a white-framed staircase from the stairwell, making it seem as if it’s supported by nothing but the walls. A separate section stands on its own at ground level. The designers were trying to use the stairs as a narrative scheme, asking questions like “Can a staircase tell us that time passes and children grow up?”