In the construction of a building, stairs are generally undervalued architectural elements. Sometimes they are considered as a second class element, giving priority to other spaces. The design of the stairs is left for an advanced phase of the project, resulting in a distribution that could be greatly improved.
It is common to find highly studied architectural projects and designs that fail in the design of the staircase, which appears lacking in lighting and ventilation. In other cases, the client himself who chooses to allocate that space to other areas of construction is considered more important.
The truth is that the staircase must be considered as an architectural element of relevant magnitude, but how to project the design and construction of a staircase?
The stairs need to have enough space to offer the maximum possible guarantees. If the stairs are well designed, the space that remains under this element can be used for other practices: closets, rest areas, pantries, etc.
Whenever possible, the staircase should be located as centrally as possible, and this refers to the fact that it must be easily accessible from any lobby or distribution area, although in general, it occupies more cornered positions. On the other hand, the location of the stairs must be close to the access doors to the property, offering an obstacle-free route in case of emergency.
The aspect of lighting and ventilation, as in other construction elements, is essential that it is well lit, natural lighting is preferable, and that these light sources affect the rest of the architectural elements. The staircase can receive natural lighting directly and that, in turn, this lighting is directed to other points. Mirrors are good allies to achieve this goal.
Another key conditioning factor of stairs is that they serve as a communication path between different floors or levels of a building. This must be used by light sources, to promote energy and economic savings.
If we focus on the technical specifications, for example on the number of steps, their dimensions, and their height, the conditions will depend on the property. It is not the same to build a staircase for a hospital as for a museum, a theater, or a home.