Wood Staircase Design

John and Matthew examine staircases that successfully use wood as their primary design material.

Designers showcased in today’s episode:

Javier Artadi Architect
Daly Genik
Juergen Haller
Works Partnership Architecture
Grosfeld Van Der Velde Architecture

  • Steve in Van

    The clean, open design by Haller Jürgen is stunning (2:10).  I helped a friend in Quebec mimic this look last winter.  He built the laminated  treads directly into the framing, and we pieced drywall around each tread.  No hidden rods, clips, or supports.  The simplicity is beautiful, from above and below, but required loads of patience – imagine having to mud and paint around each tread!  We’ll see how it wears over time.

    While researching that project I came across a few open stair alternatives (pics below).  One uses a traditional stringer, mostly recessed, that presents a straight line to the drywall.  And the open stair in Niels Bendtsen’s house (by Jennifer Marshall) uses angle iron to attach wood treads to a concrete wall.  These are easier installlations but less successful aesthetically, IMO.

    Lastly, I just have to remark on the ‘handrail’ on the far side of the Grosfeld Van Der Velde example (3:45).  I don’t know if it meets North American code for a graspable handrail, but it’s wonderfully minimal and adds to the sculptural oragami of the whole piece.  Thanks!

  • Info

    great to see such an interset in stairs 

  • Steve in Van

    Just had to add a pic from SPG Architect’s Pawling house showing an inventive built-in stair rail.  Thanks to Contemporist …

  • John Brown

    Thanks for the two examples. I like the embedded stringer idea in the left image but I am a little worried that it may cause the drywall to crack if there is any deflection in the stair.

  • Anonymous

    Wood is good, but steel is real. (Or is that saying only for rollercoasters)