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

Two Sets of Floating Stairs in Maison NW by Nathalie Wolberg Architecture

Maison NW is a playful, colorful collection of 9 artists’ workshops inside a former printing house in Paris. Designer and resident Nathalie Wolberg (who also lives there) created two unusual floating staircases for the space: a curved ‘hanging’ plastic stair for children, and a minimalist white staircase leading up to an oversized hammock.

Ribbon Stairs by HSH Architekti

A single steel ribbon cascades from the second floor of this home by HSH Architekti to the ground level seemingly without the need for any additional support, but there’s some engineering magic involved. “The concept of a delicate rippling ribbon was chosen in view of the exposed position of the staircase in the main living area of the house,” says the firm. “The staircase is constructed from 10mm thick sheet metal. Pairs of adjoining straps connected with an oblique external side joist form a bracket anchored in the wall. Each of the brackets is constructed as a rigid frame. The higher steps bear mainly drawing forces, while the pressure is transmitted through the lower steps.”

Transparent Floating Stairs by Siller and ExclusiveStaircase

There’s something extra frightening about cantilevered steps that are also transparent. While some, like these crystal-blue acrylic stairs by Siller, are supported by barely-visible transparent panels, others – like the floating cantilevered glass design by ExclusiveStaircases – really are just sticking right out of the wall.