Stairs As Light as Air: 13 Floating Designs That’ll Raise Your Heart Rate

Staircase mishaps cause a surprising number of accidental deaths every year (second only to car crashes), but the sleekness of these floating designs might make you want to live dangerously all the same. Who needs handrails? (Okay, a lot of us need handrails. But still.)

Helical Stone Staircase by Webb Yates

Developed for a private residence by Webb Yates Engineers and The Stonemasonry Company, this helical stone staircase features steps made of individual blocks of stone. The trick to holding it together is the insertion of two 12.9-millimeter steel cables through the center of the stairs, post-tensioned after assembly to support the load. That sounds simpler than it really is. The steps were also profiled into a ‘spine’ shape to reduce their weight. The staircase became the first 320-degree self-supported stone staircase in the world.

Integrated Field by Baan Moom

These gorgeous floating steps are positioned right beneath a skylight for an even more dramatic effect, inside a Thai home for a family of five by Baam Moom / Integrated Field.

Apartment in Luxembourg by Metaform Architects

A striking modern home in Luxembourg produced as a collaboration between Metaform Architects and the street artist SUMO aims to bring urban residences into the ‘post-graffiti’ world, contrasting areas of color with blank palettes of white. The latter is seen here in a curving, seemingly unsupported staircase.

Floating Stairs in Portugal by Feedback-studio

No railings, no problem! Feedback-studio designed these barely-there stairs for their Amaral Loft project in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, a private commission.