floating staircase landing

Jul 11 '08 60 Last Comment
Jul 11, 08 1:22 pm

hi everyone

i am designing a staircase and would like the landing to "float", like the staircase at the "Stadthaus Scharnhauser Park
und Marktplatz" by jurgen mayer.

picture #4....

any other examples? we will likely engineer it ourselves, but just looking for inspiration right now

thanks y'all! (and its friday, woohoo!!)


Jul 11, 08 1:31 pm
Jul 11, 08 1:36 pm

tom kundig. chicken point cabin

Jul 11, 08 1:44 pm

damn holz... beat me to it, tried to find a view from the kitchen out, really gives the "floating" feel.

also, zumthor's shelter for the roman ruins:

vado retro
Jul 11, 08 1:53 pm

sorry to be a buzzkill but if you're in the states that stair doesn't meet code.

Jul 11, 08 2:43 pm

really vado? what part does it not meet? and thanks for posting everyone! that zumthor one is great

Jul 11, 08 3:28 pm

two more

from the recent news article, MVRDV's Didden Village

Blencowe-Levine's Battersea House

vado retro
Jul 11, 08 4:09 pm

section 1012 and 1013 of the ibc for starters.
Jul 11, 08 4:21 pm

oooh, nice call on the zumthor. damn, its easy to forget that one...

several detail issues focus on stairs... could make a nice book out of them all, actually...

carlos ferrater's office

aix, scara domkyrka (cathedral)

becker architekten
Jul 11, 08 4:26 pm

don't houses fall under IRC?

won and done williams
Jul 11, 08 5:16 pm

gm tech center

Jul 11, 08 5:20 pm

A good stair can seriously make or break a project

won and done williams
Jul 11, 08 5:21 pm

toshiko mori

won and done williams
Jul 11, 08 5:24 pm


won and done williams
Jul 11, 08 5:25 pm

more siza

Jul 11, 08 5:55 pm

Mini House by Hiroaki Ohtani

Jul 11, 08 6:03 pm

the last three stairs are knockout beautiful...but if you slip walking on them you better pray you fall on the wall side.

Jul 11, 08 11:44 pm

Really nice posts! I would like to know the specific application you are asking about. Is it for single family residential?

Jul 12, 08 10:27 am

I recently helped design this one. Might not be quite as dramatic, but I like it and it meets code...

Jul 12, 08 6:21 pm

hmm ... correct me if I'm wrong but most of these are not really floating landings per say ... lots of beautiful floating stairs though.

Jul 13, 08 7:26 am

UN Studio, Villa NM (now destroyed by a fire I think)

Jul 14, 08 2:11 pm

the stair would be in a restaurant, high traffic, high exposure...

Jul 14, 08 3:31 pm

mvrdv's gemini residence sort of has floating/cantilevered landings as well
Jul 16, 08 4:09 pm

to revive...

some niemeyer goodness...

and lewerentz...

Jul 16, 08 5:13 pm
Jul 17, 08 12:52 am

and a touch more cos i'm needing a break...

Jul 17, 08 3:12 am

Jul 17, 08 3:32 am

Jul 17, 08 5:33 am

er.. where's the 'floating staircase landing' in that pic of the workers of the Empire St Building?

Jul 17, 08 5:38 am

someone change this thread's title to "Extensive collection of cool pics of floating stairs" instead... Holz, you're the definitive architectural-photo-junkie

Steven WardSteven Ward
Jul 17, 08 7:49 am

i think some of these would give me motion sickness...and i don't usually get motion sickness. the first one at 7/16, 21:52 especially.

Isaac Gaetz
Jul 17, 08 2:34 pm

Steven, I agree, also some of the look especially dangerous. None the less I think this a really great collection you guys have put together. Good job. Special Nod to Holz.
Jul 17, 08 3:53 pm

i think danger is what makes it look more interesting... actually, i'm really into the minimal (almost nothing) aesthetic.

but i ascribe to the theory that if you make it look more dangerous, people will be more cautious...

or they'll just run into the 100mm steel tread and gouge their eye out :)
Jul 17, 08 3:54 pm

and i posted the charles ebbets foto of the construction workers eating lunch because i wanted to emphasize the floating nature of the conversation, what constitutes floating? is it a visual lightness? separation? does the suspended stair seem to float more than a cantilevered stair?

and i think it's a great photo...

Jul 18, 08 1:20 pm

holz, - 07/17/08 0:32 fourth picture (brick staircase). what is it?

Jul 18, 08 2:03 pm

yea, all those open-on-one-side-with-no-railing stairs give me the willies (as i've stated above)

"i think danger is what makes it look more interesting..."

holz, i struggle with this too, cause i like the purity of those stairs, but do you really want to use danger as a design approach? (maybe the aswer is yes, i'm just asking)

Jul 18, 08 2:38 pm

ether, that's Eladio Dieste's Cristo Obrero Church

Jul 18, 08 2:48 pm

thanks phuyake!

liberty bell
Jul 18, 08 2:54 pm

holz, you wear me out!

I'm not a fan of structural trickery and things floating, but there is some drop-dead gorgeous detailing in some of those images!

The first one at 21:52, the bent metal plates, is a nice twist.

Jul 18, 08 3:12 pm

Gorgeous stuff holz.
Jul 18, 08 4:55 pm

a little danger doesn't bother me.

if the client is ok with taking on the added risk for a purer aesthetic, that's awesome.

sometimes a bit of a fright can be quite healthy and invigorating (unless you are over 40 or have heart issues)

speaking of structural trickery...
i found this diagram of the structure (hidden) for the jordi vayreda stair... (which i'll repost since it's so awesome)

Jul 18, 08 5:00 pm

eva jiricna is well known for her stairs, very well detailed

Sep 19, 08 12:35 am

this is a beautiful thread. so many great ideas.

David CuthbertDavid Cuthbert
Sep 19, 08 8:39 am

I wonder how many of these stairs are legal in your respective countries

Oct 30, 08 12:33 pm

I know that many or most of these examples are from outside of the US.

You can't really build stairs like this in the US, can you? with the rules regarding no more than 4" gaps in the guardrails, and no more than 4" gaps in the rises of the treads.

Oct 30, 08 12:57 pm
"As an architecture discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving building codes approaches one."
Oct 30, 08 1:17 pm


those that are done in the states, how is that accomplished?

are crappy stairs installed, then after CO, replaced w/ the nice, clean and non-conforming stair?

james webbjames webb
Oct 30, 08 1:25 pm

the stairs in my boss's new house ain't too bad either

David CuthbertDavid Cuthbert
Oct 30, 08 2:17 pm

is it me or is that ridiculously steep?

james webbjames webb
Oct 30, 08 2:29 pm

techno, my boss is dutch...he has designed/used alot worse

Oct 30, 08 2:59 pm

P2an, are you working for "claus" or for "kaan"?

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