While many steps and staircases serve a solely utilitarian purpose, many of the most beautiful creations have become works of art in their own right. Beautiful steps from around the world have inspired artists, scientists and lovers alike. Whether you are a fan of the spiral staircase, a grand sweeping curved stairway or a magnificent display of granite steps, these four examples should inspire your own creative juices:
The Spanish Steps of Rome
Notable for both its history and its artistry the Spanish Steps, known formally as Scalinatadella Trinità dei Monti, are a masterpiece of design and execution. The 138 steps form the widest stairway in Europe and were built by the fabulously wealthy Bourbon kings to connect their embassy with the Vatican See. Immediately recognized for their beauty, the Steps have been revered by locals and visitors for almost three centuries.
The Concourse of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Renowned as the fictional place where Rocky finally found his inspiration, the 72 real steps that lead up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art are truly inspirational. Gracing a grand pavilion of neo classical buildings, the steps are the foundation for one of the greatest views in the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia City Hall.
16th Street Tiled Steps of San Francisco
The fact that these 163 mosaic-tiled steps climb an amazing 82 feet in the middle of San Francisco is just the beginning of the wonders. Created by the Irish artist, Aileen Barr, and a San Fran local, Colette Crutcher, this extraordinary work of art has been become a local as well as national sensation. Almost 100,000 ceramic fragments were used in its construction and artists from across the globe visit to and learn about its construction and maintenance.
Umshreibung in Munich
In the spirit of M.C. Escher, the Umshreibung or “Rewritten” steps are a testament to the intentional visual and intellectual obfuscation of the artist, Olafur Eliasson. The self-standing, double, spiral staircase is a simultaneous tribute to the natural and man-made worlds. In addition, the art piece combines the surreal and the absurd. A casual look and the structure seem impossible, but the staircase is indeed usable and enchants any visitors who make the journey.
These steps are some of the most beautiful in the world and building one in a private home is beyond the reach of any but the wealthiest. Still, the average home owner can grace his home with a beauty of steps in the form of a beautiful spiral staircase, a magnificent marble stair of a beautiful stone stairway.
Note: This blog post was witten by guest blogger Nick Walz. Nick is an active blogger and writer who likes to share his advice and tips to the online community. Nick appreciates architecture across the world and wanted to share some staircases that people marvel over. You can contact him on Twitter @Nick_Walz.