About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2842-2843
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain


N. Ghassemieh

Virginia Tech Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (UNITED STATES)
In the beginning, I should mention that to me there is no absolute answer for any kind of question or statement as Louis Sullivan says: “Try never to forget, from now on, that everything, each thing, you see and hear, has a double meaning.” Each answer gives birth to another question and this struggling continues until mind gets tired and stops its natural curiosity. But as nature rules, this curiosity will appear again later, with many stops and confusions ahead. There are a few parts of an architectural topic that demands a lot of working with a good power of imagination and accurate design. Staircase is one of the most basic and Universal architectural pieces, which is still fascinating to designers from the very beginning of Architecture until now. “The architect who does not conceive of a staircase as something fantastic is not an artist” said Gio Ponti. Many of the great architects have their own theories about stairs. They treat stairs as architectural elements to be thought of arrangement thought and written, eurhythmy, symmetry, propriety, and economy. They thing of stairs as the veins and arteries of buildings (Vasari); as objects of beauty (Palladio); as symbolic (Alberti, Martini, Palladio); as places of danger (Vitruvius, Palladio and infirm (Palladio); about the necessity of good illumination (Vitruvius, Palladio); about the behavior of people on stairs (Leonardo, Palladio); they pontificate about the dimension of risers and treads, the steepness of staircase, and so on. All of these toward us to this question: what is stairs?
Staircases are at least symbols for rites of passage from one phase of experience into another. This is represented such notions as the "ladder of success" toward the CEO' s position in a major corporation or by "Jacobs' Ladder" via which angels fly up and down to serve mankind in some faiths. The foremost reason marks stairs as one of the delightful architectural elements is geometry. It is significant because of the fact that stairs are known to be dangerous and potentially injurious which Vitruvius believed and mentioned in his theory. The conflicts relation between humans and staircase is an essential factor that should be considered. The point I have taken in this paper is to percept the meaning and symbolism of stairs in history and theories in clash with human body, state what we must expect from stairs and what we must do to control the stairs by keeping the spiritual meaning of it at the same time.
author = {Ghassemieh, N.},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2842-2843}}
AU - N. Ghassemieh
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 2842
EP - 2843
ER -
N. Ghassemieh (2012) STAIRS IN RELATION TO HUMAN SCALE, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 2842-2843.