There's something inherently dramatic, I think, about stairs. We see them every day, and they're necessary for, you know, going up and down, but if you take a staircase and isolate it it becomes this really beautiful, sculptural thing. Lots of architects have taken this idea and played with it, producing elegant (and occasionally terrifying) results. (Although of course those things aren't mutually exclusive.) Feast your eyes on these 17 examples.
This staircase is a bit more solid, but no less eye-catching. In a Paris store by March Architects, spotted on Yellowtrace.
The exciting thing about this staircase is the dramatic glass surround. From Sing Core.
In a room with eye-popping wallpaper and marble, this staircase is almost (but not quite) a wallflower. From Homelife AU.
This design (from Emmas Designblogg) really breaks a staircase down to its essence. The result is this elegantly simple black ribbon, which seems to flow from one floor to the next.
A spiral staircase goes glam in a space from World Interiors News.
Color makes this simple stair from Desire to Inspire.
A sinuous black and gold stunner from The D Pages.
A gorgeous gold stair from Divisare.
An open staircase from Archiproducts is not for the faint of heart.
A spiral stair from AD Magazine with a beautiful, industrial feel.
The simple metal ribbon of this stair gets an added boost of elegance from a gold handrail. Spotted on AD España.
When the designers at Diapo needed to built a staircase for their office, of course it couldn't be ordinary.
This staircase from Dezeen is beautiful but looks like it might require some pretty intense concentration.
A dramatic suspended stair by Haptic Architects,
Ok, most of these stairs wouldn't bother me too much, but I have to admit: this one would give me the willies. It's beautiful, though. From Frederic Kielemoes.
And finally, an elegantly minimal spiral stair from The D Pages.