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One-of-a-Kind Designs and Unusual Elevator Alternatives

 - Jan 25, 2009
Staircases have been for some years now the point of interest of engineers, architects, designers, and even photographers. Allowing a wide space for creation, their alluring patterns reveal whole new levels to the spectator, and not just literally. Stability, safety and functionality are increasingly becoming secondary issues in the presence of design and aesthetics.

Constructions that are true art pieces include the fluid staircase by Thomas Heatherwick that sheds its strips of hot-rolled steels at New York Longchamps store, the sharp space-saving design by Swedish architects of the TAF Architect Office in Stockholm, the Jordi Vayreda minimal concept of a floating series of steps, and the spiral slide staircase of inventor Scott Jones.

Some older creations, though, still make heads turn and eyes widen, such as the wonder that is the Piedra de Penol in Medellin, Colombia, which casts its 649 stairs up to the top of a 200-meter-tall granite batholith, or the 10th-century Chand Baori structure in India that unfolds along thirteen stories and incorporates the impressive number of 3,500 narrow steps.

Still, my heart belongs to the velvet curves of a romantic aged stone staircase that furnishes a noble paved side road.