Staircases: The Architecture of Ascent Hardcover
by Oscar Tusquets Blanca (Author) , Martine Diot (Author) , Adelaí¯de de Savray (Author) , Jérí´me Coignard (Author)
The essential purpose of a staircase is utilitarian: to facilitate ascent and descent. Yet the design of even the simplest stair is complex, requiring great knowledge, skill, and ingenuity. This volume showcases the astonishing diversity of staircases over the centuries, from the stepped pyramids of the Maya to the exquisitely proportioned stairs of the Renaissance, to the elaborate balustraded confections of the Baroque period, to the virtuosic, computer-aided designs of today. Among the scores of featured staircases are Michelangelo’s double stair at the Palazzo dei Senatori on the Capitoline Hill in Rome; the double-spiral stair at Chí¢teau de Chambord in France’s Loire Valley; the entrance stair in the Winter Palace (now the Hermitage) in St. Petersburg; the radical spiral ramp of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum; and the exterior stair at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Architectural tours de force all, often charged with religious, mystical, and hierarchical meaning, these staircases are inherently dynamic, as is every page of this fascinating and beautifully illustrated book.