Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BP 11: A Modern Step

Designers are always striving to become the next “modern” design, or so it seems, and some come up with some extravagant designs in order for them to stand out from the crowd. One of my favorite spaces in a structure, that doesn’t seem to get much attention, is the staircase. I believe that when designers realized a second floor was possible, the connection between the floors was rarely explored or expanded on. Thinking back to the thousands of stairs I have walked on, many residential staircases are typically stuffed in the corner or placed so they are hidden from sight. 
Above are two pictures that are, what I consider, residential stairs that are often used. A wall mostly conceals the staircase in the left photo, but does have a bit of flare at the bottom that seems to open the stairs to the room. The photo to the right shows a spiral staircase that is at the end of a hall, making it less noticeable and not a main feature in the house.
However, there are some wild cards out there that put a twist when designing staircases. I know it depends on the clients wants, but I would love to have any of the surrounding staircases in my house. The art nouveau style that began in the 1900’s, had an idea of a fluid line that runs through a design, establishing a connection; that line can be seen in many ‘modern’ staircases seen today. Artist strive to have a modern design so they can be the next ‘hot designer’’. I believe people worked so hard in the beginning of the twentieth century to appear modern because they wanted to establish themselves and show that they could successfully adapt to the changing world around them. Technology was giving designers the ability to work with materials in ways that they never had before; with new techniques and styles designers would have to stand out to be noticed.