Design Covet | Steel Staircases

  • 10am Penthouse by Studio Andrew Trotter

    We explore the impact of a steel staircase through the lens of seven different architects and designers.

    Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, steel has been revered by architects, designers, builders and engineers for its strength, durability and wide range of applications. As a result, many of the world’s most celebrated architectural structures incorporate steel as a primary building material. On a smaller scale, steel often crops up in residential and commercial projects in the form of a sculptural staircase. From Studio Andrew Trotter’s weathered-steel staircase to Studio Okami’s blue-painted steel staircase, this Design Covet reveals the extent of this arresting architectural feature.

    10AM Venue

    Studio Andrew Trotter

    Barcelona-based Studio Andrew Trotter converted a former six-storey warehouse in downtown Athens into a hybrid residential-commercial space, 10AM Lofts. The basement and ground floor of the building comprises 10AM Venue, a 500-square-metre space that can be used to host all sorts of creative events. The space pays homage to the building’s industrial heritage with concrete floors, exposed timber trusses and a sculptural weathered-steel staircase – which marks the transition from the dark, moody basement to the light-filled ground floor.

    The Vipp Chimney House

    Studio David Thulstrup

    For the third instalment of their hotel series, Danish brand Vipp entrusted Studio David Thulstrup to transform a heritage-listed building in Copenhagen. The 1902 building was originally a water pumping station with towering ceilings, brick arches and a 35-metre-high chimney. Studio David Thulstrup have integrated these historic features with the new design – a highlight of which is the staircase. The interior of the staircase is clad in Vipp’s signature matt-black powder-coated steel, while the exterior is clad in extruded aluminium panelling – a tribute to the brand’s most-favoured materials.

    Belgium-based Studio Okami have revived a duplex apartment inside a Brutalist-style building in Antwerp. The space has been stripped back to its raw concrete form and balanced with contemporary elements, including peach-hued resin floors, a stainless-steel kitchen island and a blue-painted steel staircase. The narrow, spiral shape of the stairs renders them light and fluid compared to the rough concrete.

    Adderbury Hill

    Al-Jawad Pike

    London-based studio Al-Jawad Pike were engaged to reshape an existing barn in Oxfordshire into a contemporary family home. The two levels of the home are connected via a central staircase located within a large top-lit double-height space. The exterior of the staircase is clad in mild steel, which reflects light from above and below, while the interior is clad in Douglas fir. Paired together, the two materials evoke an unexpected softness from a steel staircase.

    Park House

    Mim Design and Pleysier Perkins

    Mim Design collaborated with Pleysier Perkins to reimagine an 1856 home in Melbourne’s historic Williamstown precinct. The material palette is inspired by the original bluestone building – blending both raw and refined elements. Grey limestone is complemented by dark timber veneer, as well as aged materials that will naturally patina over time – such as the blackened steel of the striking helical staircase, which one can’t help but be drawn to as soon as they step inside.

    Caroline House

    Kennedy Nolan

    In restoring and extending an Edwardian home in inner Melbourne, Kennedy Nolan took the opportunity to experiment with colour, texture and form, adopting what they call a “whimsical yet formal” approach. The home’s playful green-painted steel staircase reflects this approach, which contrasts with the surrounding black steel-framed windows and grey terrazzo floors.

    Saint Antoine Apartment


    Parisian architecture studio Heju is at the helm of this rehabilitated apartment in one of the oldest parts of the city. The project entailed a lot of restructuring and reconfiguring in only a small amount of space (100 square metres, to be exact). To optimise space and improve the apartment’s functionality, Heju devised the ingenious idea to suspend a staircase above the kitchen. Made from lightweight steel, the staircase floats like a sheet of paper, blending into the white backdrop.

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