Technically speaking, stairs are a means to get from one level to another - and indeed, most staircases are quite plain and practical. But thankfully, some architects and homebuilders have managed to combine form and function in creating spectacular staircases that really take it to the next level.
Take a look at these 10 wonderful examples of gorgeous staircases from around the world:
Striking Concrete Spiral Staircase in Oyonnax, France
Journalist Tony Allen-Mills, who writes at the Wit Over Ignorance blog, noted that amongst the stark Le Corbusier-inspired blockish and fortress-like Brutalist buildings in the French town of Oyonnax (famous for having the Museum of Comb, by the way) there is this striking concrete spiral staircase set in front of a vibrant yellow wall and set of red doors.
Allen-Mills found the "glorious concrete staircase tucked almost embarrassedly behind a box-like municipal structure." He noted that it's a suprising moment of modernist inspiration that flowered amid the dour Socialist (architectural) carnage.
Photo: Tony Allen-Mills (Tampen/Flickr)
Casa Do Staircase
The zen-like combination of warm wood and industrial concrete work wonders in this gorgeous spiral staircase. The minimalist staircase was designed in 2001 by renowned Chilean architect Cazú Zegers for the Casa Do in Los Vilos, Chile.
Image: Carlos Eguiguren - via Platforma Arquitectura
Elegant Black Cast-Iron Staircase
HofmanDujardin Architects created this dramatic black cast-iron spiral staircase for the law office of law and notary firm BarentsKrants in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Photo: Matthijs van Roon - via Contemporist
Steel Ribbon Stairs of Büro.Loft F27
Black and white is the theme of this modern office/residential loft Büro.Loft F27 in northern Graz, Austria. Architectural firm Schlosser + Partner designed these cantilevered stairs that look like a zig zag ribbon of steel.