Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fun with Stairs

My life goal at the age of 8 was to become an architect. I used to sit in my room for hours sketching to-scale floor plans of my dream homes on graph paper. The central feature of these homes tended to be extensive play areas and each child having their own bathroom (guess who didn’t have her own bathroom, and has 2 older brothers...woof).

One essential element in each of these homes was interesting staircases. I used to make symbols resembling the type of staircase present - large, sweeping staircases at the front of the house, spiraling staircases leading from bedrooms to loft like spaces, even hidden staircases behind bookcases leading to private libraries because how cool is that?!?

I recently found a real-life example of one of the many staircases I dreamed up: a combo stair/slide, this one designed by UK architect Alex Michaelis. Can I say YES?

Below please examine a beautifully designed staircase designed by my favorite real-life architect, Frank Gehry, for the Art Gallery of Ontario (oh Canada!). Everything he creates is so organic, so modern, so sculptural, so so so so so.

I will know that I have truly made it when I have a beautiful library, with high ceilings and sliding ladders a la My Fair Lady, the movie. Until then, I will continue to fantasize about other, more successful people’s expansive libraries and the possibility of moving into a bookshop, like the one below, the Lello Bookshop in Portugal, which is apparently the coolest place on Earth. Amazing book collection + amazing staircase + oddly reminiscent of Dr. Suess’ world = my heart rate is accelerating, take me there now.

I love so many things about human nature, not the least of which is our desire to make our world beautiful. Rather than just using stairs as a means to get from point A to point B in a world we are building vertically in order to save space, we take the opportunity to make utilitarian items decorative. Beautiful and silly.

For more stair fun, click here. This is a real website, and it is great.

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