Credit: world architecture festival
Stacked design: The world's most extreme staircases
Dezeen is a leading design, interiors and architectural magazine. CNN Style has collaborated with Dezeen on a number of stories exploring the latest trends in architecture and design. Click here for more.
Once referred to as "sculpture's gift to architecture" by dRMM co-founder Alex de Rijke, staircases are often become the centerpiece to a home or public space.
1/12 – The Labyrinth, Thailand
As architects begin to push design boundaries and test the limits of building regulations, staircases are becoming more extreme. An influx of innovative designs -- from "floating" cantilevered treads to whiplash-inducing spiral structures -- means functionality is taking a step back.
Some of the most terrifying examples can be found in Japan, where relaxed building regulations mean that open-sided staircases are more common. For Park House in Tokyo, Japanese studio Another Apartment connected two floors with wooden treads designed to look like thin plates emerging from the wall. A single slender handrail is attached to the wall for balance.
Some architects prefer to exaggerate the shape of a typical spiral staircase. Casa Gago by Pezo von Ellrichshausen features a tightly-wound helix-shaped structure that serves to connect all 12 platforms inside the split-level Chilean house. Made from raw concrete, the staircase winds its way through a narrow central void.
A vibrant shade of blue was used to create a statement staircase inside the minimal home of London fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic. Conceived to look like a sculpture in a gallery, the staircase was enclosed in a blue steel fin-like structure.
The more unusual examples don't resemble staircases at all. Tiptoeing the line between architecture and art, Francesco Librizzi's blocky structure for a Sicilian residence is formed of wooden boxes and platforms supported by a black metal framework.
But artistic staircases aren't just for private residences -- Ribbon Chapel by Hiroshi Nakamura is a wedding venue that gets its name from the two curving staircases that encircle its glazed core. The two pathways meet at a rooftop platform overlooking the Hiroshima coastline.
And visitors to the Thai coastal resort Bang Saen Beach are invited to get lost inside a labyrinthine staircase designed by Supermachine Studio. This concrete tower is formed of chunky interconnecting staircases, concealing plenty of nooks for children to play hide and seek.
For more stunning staircases visit our friends at Dezeen here.