Once upon a time, unless you lived in a castle, a staircase was a simple thing, built of wood and standing against the wall. Today, it can be a central design feature able to transform an interior with one dramatic statement. Curved, Cantilevered, Spiral or Suspended – infinite possibilities have been opened up by clever design and engineering which can turn the staircase into the most important focal point of the house.
Staircases are fast becoming a priority for Architects and Developers, seeing the potential to add that “wow factor” to a house, be it a new design or a renovation project. Homeowners have historically spent a fortune on their kitchens and bathrooms, rooms that are often out of view and only have a lifespan of around ten years. Staircases are another matter altogether – this is an area of design that has been neglected in the last fifty years but is now gaining importance.
Changing a staircase is not something one should embark on lightly. However, if it blocks out light, is not well integrated into the house or if it is in a rickety condition, it might be time to look at an alternative. As aesthetic and structural implications need careful consideration, each staircase has to be planned individually with every interior to be treated as a unique space.
INTERESTING TIPS, FACTS, FUNNIES & HISTORICAL TRIVIA about STAIRS
- In castles with spiral stairways, turrets etc…the stairs always ascend clockwise
- In England, the Cockney dialect use the term “apples and pears” to refer to stairs – they would say “I am going down the apples and pears quickly”
- Wooden stairs creak because wood swells when the air is moist and shrinks when the air is dry. When you step on your stair it’s expanding and contracting as you go
- The first stairs in history were over 6000 years ago and were wooden tree trunks fitted together
- In China, the first granite stairs were used as a symbol of religious power
- The grand staircase at Buckingham Palace, London, has balusters made of oak and bronze casting. The stairs were designed by John Nash at the request of King George IV
- There are seventy-two steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia. If you don’t know why this is meaningful…think Rocky Balboa!
- The longest staircase in the world can be found on the slopes of Mount Niesen on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. There are 11,674 steps in all
- The Burj Dubai is one of the highest buildings in the world with twisty and windy staircases over three and a half miles long
- Prior to the installation of stairs in the White House in 1948, people navigated between different levels using ramps, ladders, pulleys and winches
- The “Spanish Steps” found in Rome, Italy, are named so because they lead to the official residence of the Spanish Ambassador
- Spiral staircases in medieval castles are running clockwise because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand, which was holding the sword. Left-handed knights would have had no troubles – unfortunately, left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil
- Stair climbing is officially classed as a “vigorous exercise” and burns more calories per minute than jogging
- The Roman architect, Vitruvius, established the first guidelines for the stair in the first century B.C, suggesting a 37 degree pitch. Most stairs are not dramatically different today
- The 19th century is regarded by many as the Golden Era of stair construction. In the 20th century architects gave prominence to lifts. Now, with the emergence of “active design”, architects are once again making stairs more prominent
- The greatest height reached climbing stairs in 12 hours was 33,000 feet by Christian Riedl of Frankfurt, Germany. Riedl climbed 13,146 metres in September 2014
- The longest stairway listed by the Guinness Book of Records is the service stairway for the Niesenbahn Funicular Railway near Spiez, Switzerland, with 11,674 steps
Now that you have some fun facts about staircases and might just understand your staircase better, isn’t it time to revamp or build the staircase of your dreams. Quick Step Stair has some awesome designer concrete floating cantilever staircases.
Don’t worry you don’t have to come to us we will come to your we build staircases any where in South Africa.