Imagine having a functional art installation at home, one that sweeps from the ceiling down to the ground. It would be a sight to behold and an iconic piece for guests to admire, isn’t it?
If so, you’ll fall in love with modern takes of the cantilever staircase, also known as floating stairs. The cantilevered staircase is not novel. In fact, the first stone cantilevered staircase was constructed during the 1600s at the Queen’s House at Greenwich, England.
Today, there is no need for marble and granite stairwells because impeccable design wins hearts all around. In this article, we look at 5 types of floating staircases that will alter the way your space looks and feels via the elimination of visible support.
No Strings Attached
Modern and minimalistic, the treads seem to protrude from the wall, aligning together like steps of a video game to reach the next level.
Treads for floater like these are usually reinforced with steel, fixed to a solid wall on one end to ensure stability. It can appear to be wooden, stone, or concrete as the reinforcement hidden within each tread.
It is a daring show of engineering that can be installed indoors or outdoors, for homes or offices. The particular design above showcases steps that are fixed to a solid wall using anchor bolts. The other end floats free without the need for a handrail.
Fixtures such as this are perfect for open-concept spaces and to create an illusion of much larger living space.
The glass floater
Want to pump up that wow-factor? Use glass to enhance the magic of your floating staircase. Above is a straight wooden tread cantilever staircase held together by two plates of thick glass (glass balustrading). A stairway to heaven moment, this design gives the space a clean minimalistic look.
The transparent and illuminating nature of glass allows light to pass through, making the space brighter and instantly, more welcoming.
Other ways to involve glass in floating staircases include incorporating them on treads with diffused bottoms or adding LED light into the glass for additional illumination.
Inspiration can be garnered from nature and mundane items. Take a ribbon, for example. What potential does it hold for interior design? A gorgeous floating stair design!
A Czech architecture studio, HSH Architects, used ribbons as an inspiration to create an art-gallery-worthy staircase designed from a 10-millimeter sheet of steel that is folded and lacquered to glossy perfection.
It may look scary to some as it lacks the physical attribute that contributes to stability and sturdiness, but one should not worry as the sides are fixed to a solid wall.
Minimalist and futuristic, it brings a touch of class to any modern home or company showroom. Similar styles include accordion and folding designs.
Suspended mid air
Handrails are usually fixed horizontally so our hands can glide up, or down as we take each step. What if they fall vertically?
Interior designer, Christian Siller, created a floating staircase inspired by waves. He makes each tread look like they are hanging mid-air by strips of wood. Siller used bent shaped wooden slabs to create a functional sculpture that merges two elements of nature – wood and waves.
He did not miss aligning the bottom of the treads and vertical railing with the theme too. The bottom of each tread is carved to resemble waves. The bent hardwood act as supportive rails.
Utilising a tension system, the design does not follow the science behind the creation of a suspension bridge, instead, it is fixed to a sturdy wall on the side.
We’ve been looking at clean and almost-parallel lines, but here’s a design that will drive us straight to the core of our being. Resembling our helical DNA, this amalgamation of spiral and helical design is hauntingly breathtaking. Using steel fixtures that mimic the helix, this staircase is an ideal fixture for companies that work with the human body. A posh hospital, maybe?
Having glass treads accentuates the effect as light shines down from the top floor.
Here, the steel balustrade serves as a support and the steps created are developed using the lamination technique. If you are looking for a show-stopper, this design should be your pick. Choose a different material for a totally different effect. Use dark wood for a rainforest vibe, or white stone for a medieval aura.
Have you ever wanted to be a little flashier with your home or office? There is no need to think long and hard. Changing the look of your staircase can change the whole space.
Yeah, floating staircases look good, but is it practical?
Well, if you are looking to optimise your space and allow more light to illuminate the area, floating staircases are it!
Because lesser material is used to prop the steps, the staircase will appear light, making the room look more spacious. Fewer walls to divide spaces allow light to penetrate many areas, reducing the need to install more lighting.
Which ones from the above are your favourite?
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