Architectural Inspirations: The Enchanting Spiral Staircase

Divine Heights Of Spiral Style: The Spiral Staircase
Divine Heights Of Spiral Style: The Spiral Staircase

A spiral staircase. An enchanting appreciation filled with intrigue seems to beckon our attention when we come across a towering, spiral staircase. The mere idea that a secret awaits at the top creates an adventurous yet stylish addition of design with a purpose. The spiral staircase is a focal point, architectural phenomenon and a work of art in our interior and exterior spaces. The aesthetics that a spiral staircase provides proves to be more than just a function, but a form of stylish design and drama. They are certainly architectural wonders

Spiraling Staircases: Architectural Wonders
Spiraling Staircases: Architectural Wonders

It is no surprise that the spiral staircase would acquire the attention and interest of the enduring and beloved fashion icon, the epitome of classic and timeless taste, Coco Chanel. Her infamous mirrored and lacquered walls of her iconic spiral staircase was designed by no other but herself. Winding up through her street level design workshop, the sprawling mirrored spiral staircase allowed Chanel to peer from her perch at every level to catch sight of the reactions of editors at her fashion presentations. Stylish elegance with a purpose. That is, of course, very Chanel.

Coco Chanel’s iconic Mirrored Spiral Staircase, 31 Rue Cambon, Paris

Perhaps for me, my first experience with a spiraling staircase that appeared endless was not through the story book images I had of castles and princesses, but the mounting of the spiral staircase within the copper walls of the great Lady Liberty…the Statue Of Liberty. Growing up on Long Island, we often traveled to Liberty Island with relatives to show them the grand lady of liberty and freedom. Alas, my excitement and energy to hit the staircase of metal left me sweating and panting at the top. But oh, the view from her crown! Indeed, the ascent to this scenic point requires over 350 stairs including the narrow spiral staircase, a vertical walk up 168 progressively narrowing steps. Thrilling heights of wonder I looked forward to each time…

The Statue Of Liberty: Lady Liberty’s Spiral Climb To The Crown
The Statue Of Liberty: Lady Liberty’s Spiral Climb To The Crown

The Spiral itself is a shape that has a history of symbolism dating back to ancient art petroglyphs and are said to represent the sun, DNA and hypnotization. Who knew? Many believe this shape fosters a connection to the earth and balance. Perhaps it can be said that the spiral form has found perfect balance when used in the form of a staircase. The stairs are one of the oldest building structure in architectural history and have played a central role within the history of man. In regards to the spiral staircase, by definition, it is a staircase with a central pole or post in which stairs are set in a spiral. As the stairs progress up the pole in a corkscrew-like pattern, elevation is achieved. A perfect winding, twisting delight that rises in style, indeed. It’s beginning is unknown, but history finds its spirals meandering through the centuries. During the ancient Greco-Roman Empire skillfully engineered spiral stairs were constructed. One example is the Trajan’s column in Rome, constructed in 113 AD, which showcases the precision and workmanship of the unique and winding, spiral staircase within the column. Certainly a representation of superb engineering skills of past civilizations. Common use of the spiral staircase occurred during the Middle Ages (between the 5th and 12th centuries). Harken the days of fortified castles, towers of defense and knights in shining armor! The advantage of these twisting staircases, made of stone, was that the defenders could use their sword arm more easily than the attackers (considering both were right handed) and the narrow stairs forced one-on-one combat. Strategic positioning, indeed. Again, who knew? Through its history and throughout time leading up the the 21st century, the transformations and changes to the spiral staircase reference different architectural eras and reveal the imaginative talents of those that engineered, modified and designed them. Architectural art forms we can all appreciate…

Angled Treads: Architectural Style
Angled Treads: Architectural Style
The Art Of The Stairs: Spiral Designs
The Art Of The Stairs: Exterior Style With Spiral Designs

The classic styles and designs of the spiral staircases can compliment diverse styles of architecture, interior spaces and exterior structures. Spiral staircases add not only a striking and captivating element but functional purpose. Whether custom or purchased in staircase kits, the installation of this style of staircase maximize floor space and make efficient use of vertical space. Vertical bliss! Less is more, but more is more in terms of style and statement! Space saving wonders, for certain. Perfect for large open spaces or smaller interiors, whether in wrought iron, wood, or a diverse array of metals or combination of materials, the spiral staircase aesthetically provides a functional work of art to the interior or exterior. Certainly worthy of attention, consider the stunning spiral staircase. Ascending and descending these architectural wonders will provide lofty thoughts of appreciation for design, style, form and function. Towering, swirling and stylistic, they are stunning and elegant additions to our spaces….


“The world is like a grand staircase. Some are going up and some are going down.”
-Samuel Johnson


6 thoughts on “Architectural Inspirations: The Enchanting Spiral Staircase

  1. It’s been an inspiration to me to have a spiral staircase like you posted. It’s like that every time that I stepped up and stepped down using spiral staircase I feel like I am a princess. (Laughing out loud) I’m hoping to have it soon.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Alicia! The spiral staircases certainly have that ‘princess’ flair to them…
      How exciting to plan for such a stunning focal point in your space- best wishes as you anticipate its arrival!

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