The Way Up

Stairs should overcome not only uneven levels but also challenges of a different kind. The toughest puzzle in the design of a building is the staircase between two floors. The space under the stairs is often of little use. At the top end there is no floor, there is a stairwell. A staircase thus claims space on two floors. In addition, at both ends circulation space is required to access the first step. These circulation spaces make the layout even more complicated.

This house shows exactly what is needed when making a staircase. At the times when both houses still had only one storey, ground floor, things were easy. In the corner of the houses sits a well. In order to gain access to the roof, stairs were built. The only feasible location was the edge of the well. The stairs should be closed at the underside, as dirt would otherwise fall from the steps into the well. The same applies to the red hand railing.

Once a storey was added, a stair was needed to access the next roof. That second stair was nearly impossible. An additional piece of roof was added to provide a landing to the new roof. It doubles as a canopy along the fa├žade.

It is tempting to puzzle on the next storey.

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