The Staircase as “Art” or as “Functional Art” – you can judge as well.
Stairway, staircase, stairwell, flight of stairs, or simply stairs are names for a construction designed to bridge a large verticaldistance by dividing it into smaller vertical distances, called steps. Stairways may be straight, round, or may consist of two or more straight pieces connected at angles.
Special stairways include escalators and ladders. Some alternatives to stairways are elevators, stairlifts and inclined moving sidewalks as well as stationary inclined sidewalks.
Some technical information – The step is composed of the tread and riser.
- The part of the stairway that is stepped on. It is constructed to the same specifications (thickness) as any other flooring. The tread “depth” is measured from the outer edge of the step to the vertical “riser” between steps. The “width” is measured from one side to the other.
- The vertical portion between each tread on the stair. This may be missing for an “open” stair effect.
- An edge part of the tread that protrudes over the riser beneath. If it is present, this means that, measured horizontally, the total “run” length of the stairs is not simply the sum of the tread lengths, as the treads actually overlap each other slightly.
- Starting step or Bullnose
- Where stairs are open on one or both sides, the first step above the lower floor may be wider than the other steps and rounded. The balusters typically form a semicircle around the circumference of the rounded portion and the handrail has a horizontal spiral called a “volute” that supports the top of the balusters. Besides the cosmetic appeal, starting steps allow the balusters to form a wider, more stable base for the end of the handrail. Handrails that simply end at a post at the foot of the stairs can be less sturdy, even with a thick post. A double bullnose can be used when both sides of the stairs are open.
Stringer, Stringer board or sometimes just String is the structural member that supports the treads and risers. There are typically two stringers, one on either side of the stairs; though the treads may be supported many other ways. The stringers are sometimes notched so that the risers and treads fit into them. Stringers on open-sided stairs are often open themselves so that the treads are visible from the side. Such stringers are called “cut” stringers. Stringers on a closed side of the stairs are closed, with the support for the treads routed into the stringer.
Winders are steps that are narrower on one side than the other. They are used to change the direction of the stairs without landings. A series of winders form a circular or spiral stairway. When three steps are used to turn a 90° corner, the middle step is called a kite winder as a kite-shaped quadrilateral.
Besides the steps and raisers looking like art or sculpture, it’s usually the handrail that brings it all together. All-in-all, it can be called “Functional Art”.