How many times has a staircase railing prevented you from falling and getting seriously injured? Actually, a staircase railing is the unknown soldier in any stairway, let alone the aesthetic features it can possess to become the focal point of any interior.

The typical height of staircase railings varies from 0.9 to 1 meter. They can tolerate continuous loads of 75 kg/m or concentrated loads of 90 kg at their topmost part.

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Now, there are lots and lots of handrails that are so beautiful that we cannot put together in one article, so here are just some of them. Enjoy!

1) Half-snake Staircase at LVMH Media Section (by Ora Ito, Paris, France)

Courtesy of Ora Ito – Photography: WeAreContents

Ora Ito designed a new workplace for the media section of LVMH–a luxury goods company in Paris. The building is four-storey high and contains a magnificent all-in-one staircase/handrail, acting as the centerpiece of the venue.

The (staircase) creature undulates in the space, shaping and pervading”, commented the French designer Ora Ito. The staircase has a biomorphic nature that contrasts the pale interior of the building. Its wooden structure resembles a tornado which invades the peaceful ambiance of the workplace.

Ito added, “I wanted the staircase to be the centerpiece of the building. This creature undulates in the space, shaping and pervading it. This huge half-whale and half-snake chimera snatches you, swallows you up and spits you out at the right floor”.

KOZAC, the company which produced the stairway, installed a source of lighting beneath each stair to illuminate it at night, enhancing its aesthetic value.

2) Vertebrae Staircase (by Andrew McConnell)

Courtesy of Andrew McConnell

Inspired by whales’ backbones, the designer created this all-black staircase utilizing a repetitive pattern mimicking a whale’s vertebrae. The vertebrae are made of steel and are linked together to make a good, rigid, and self-supporting structure.

There are no other hidden supports as the Vertebrae Staircase is designed to act as one structural element, bearing the loads of its users and transferring these forces to the floor plates,” said the designer.

The railing is well-connected and reinforced which helps the staircase resist rotational forces caused by the cantilevered steps.

3) Optical Illusion Staircase (by Storage Associati, Italy)

Courtesy of Storage Associati

The Milano-based Storage Associati Studio created this magnificent staircase in a private house. The staircase is elegant, modern, and dramatic with different perspectives that fool your eyes.

Every time you look at the staircase, you’ll see it differently depending on your position. As the steps change their appearance, you can see an incredible staircase resembling a closed room with bars surrounding it or you can see a wall of artwork. Then, you’ll realize that the sculptured wall is not actually a wall, it’s just an optical illusion.

Courtesy of Storage Associati

The eye-fooling effects are due to the long, flattened metal beams lowering from the ceiling and composing the unconventional ‘railing’. Some of the beams reach the floor, while others just stop midway.

4) Dramatic Staircase at Villa Mallorca (by Studio Mishin, Mallorca, Spain)

Courtesy of Studio Mishin

The architects of Studio Mishin created a staircase with perforated elements to be the center point of Villa Mallorca, uniting its three floors.

The staircase encompasses copper panels that conform to the space, freeing up the stairway of its formal rigidity. These copper panels have perforations which play with the light, mimicking the infiltration of sunlight through vegetation.

The result of such a process is an intricate clad with almost 200m ² of composite panels, including treated copper, bonded and structural timber with perforations. Approximately 12,000 made by the CNC water jet cutter. “ the studio commented.

5) Lime Green Staircase at Cultural Center Stjørdal (by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, Norway)

Photography: Søren Harder Nielsen

The spiral staircase anchors the cultural center which includes several facilities like a youth center, a movie theater, and spaces for art performances. It features a spiral railing with a stunning lime green color on the interior to contrast its black exterior.

6) Helical Copper Staircase at the Experimentarium Science Center (by CEBRA, Copenhagen, Denmark)

Courtesy of CEBRA – Photography: Adam Mørk

CEBRA studio has made some drastic changes to the already existing Experimentarium during its refurbishment. One of these changes is the copper staircase that resembles a DNA strand. Naturally, the staircase railing is not entirely made of copper, only the cladding utilizes the rich element and it can be seen from across the street.

The staircase ensures a good internal flow and creates coherence between the floors,” CEBRA commented. “At the same time, it substantiates the building’s scientific focus.”

During a workshop with Jakob Bohr, professor at DTU Nanotech, we were inspired to work with the stairs as an abstract version of the DNA strand’s structure,” the designers added. “And so, the idea for the Helix staircase evolved.”

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