Archive for the ‘Staircases’ Category

Stairs House – Shimane Prefecture

This one-of-a-kind house was designed by Japanese architects from the y+M Design Office. The stairs that cover the outside of the building are covered with porcelain tiles, making a two-storey house into one giant outdoor staircase!

The house employs various “green” building components making it ecologically friendly, and the slitted windows between the stairs mean that there is ever-changing natural light inside the house.

Imagine how useful this would be for Stairclimb training!

Flørli Stairs – Lysefjorden

Originally a maintenance stairway for the Flørli hydro plant, this is the world’s longest wooden staircase. In total there are 4,444 steps that climb from sea level to 740 metres up the incline. The hydro plant is no longer in operation, so these stairs are now open to the public and have become a popular hiking destination.

Pyramid of the Sun (top) and Pyramid of the Moon (bottom) – Teotihuacan

These two pyramids are the crowning glories of Teotihuacan, an ancient city that, in its prime, housed some 200,000 (est.) inhabitants. The city was established somewhere around 200 BCE and was inhabited (and added to) until the 7th century CE.

The Pyramid of the Sun is the world’s third largest (after the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Pyramid of Cholula), measuring 225 metres across at its base and 75 metres in height.

Each pyramid has a wide, steep staircase running up the face of the incline. These staircases are broken periodically by platforms where climbers can rest and take in the view. In total, the Pyramid of the Sun has 248 steps from base to peak.

Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art – Cook County, Illinois

The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is located right next Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago. The building (including the stairwell seen above) was designed by German architect Josef Paul Kleihues and became home to the Museum in 1996. The stairwell itself adorns the atrium of the Museum, spanning all five floors. At the foot of the staircase is a fish pond, while it is illuminated from above by a large skylight.

CN Tower – Toronto

The CN Tower contains 2,579 steps (147 floors ) and is the tallest metal staircase in the world. Though generally not open to the public, it is used for charity stairclimbs twice a year and the record for fastest ascent is held by Ontario Community Police Officer Brendan Keenoy who took the steps in 7 minutes and 52 seconds in 1989. The average climber takes half an hour.


Escadaria Selarón (Selarón Steps) – Rio de Janeiro

These steps are the life work of Jorge Selarón, a Chilean-born artist who has resided in Brazil since 1983. Selarón’s world-famous project began as a simple attempt to brighten up the steps that ran past his house. Though a painter by trade, the stair project soon became Selarón’s main passion. He used fragments of tile in the colours of the Brazilian flag, and says the project is his tribute to the Brazilian people. The project began in 1990 – and he hasn’t finished yet! So far he has covered 250 steps (measuring 125 metres long) and has used over 2,000 tiles collected from more than 60 countries around the world – 300 of which he hand-painted himself.

Livraria Lello (Lello Bookshop) Staircase – Porto

Commissioned by Jose Pinto de Sousa Lello in 1894 and built by engineering professor Xavier Esteves, Livraria Lello ranks as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Not only does is it adorned with stained glass windows, carved wood and, of course, shelves upon shelves of books – but in the centre of the store this striking staircase beckons visitors towards the upper floor. Though the staircase isn’t very high, what it lacks in climbing challenge it makes up for in style!