The 10 best Dezeen scales of 2021

We continue our 2021 review with a roundup highlighting the 10 best ladders featured on Dezeen this year, including a skate bowl informed ladder and one designed by Kengo Kuma.

The photo is by Mia Mortensen

Self-construction, Denmark, by Tommy Rand

Located on the outskirts of Aarhus, this home built by Tommy Rand features a spiral staircase made from CNC-cut plywood.

At the entrance to the house, a full-height square window frames the large wooden spiral staircase. It was built using 630 pieces of plywood which were assembled and glued together by hand on site.

The intricate details and warmth of the staircase contrast with the home’s concrete, minimalist interior.

Find out more about self-construction ›


Image of the staircase from In The Park by AIM Architecture
The photo is by Wen Studio

In The Park, China, by AIM Architecture

An off-white fiberglass staircase with red steps is the focal point of this clothing store in Shanghai. It was designed by local studio AIM Architecture, taking inspiration from a suburban skate bowl.

Upon entering the store, visitors are greeted by the 4.2-meter-high structure that wraps around concrete columns just like the shape of a children’s slide, guiding customers on a winding red path through the store.

Find out more about In The Park ›


Stairway to Ya!  Space showroom in China
The photo is by Shao Feng

Ya space! furniture showroom, Hangzhou, by PIG Design

Chinese architecture firm PIG Design has created this showroom for the furniture brand Memphis Milano in Hangzhou, China.

A gray staircase with a gold-colored railing leads visitors to the exhibition spaces on the first floor, framed by geometric sculptural volumes that fill the interior.

Find out more about Ya Space! furniture showroom ›


External staircase at the Hostel for Girls in India
The photo is by Andre J. Fathome at Studio Noughts and Crosses

Girls Hostel Block, India, by Zero Energy Design Lab

This Zero Energy Design Lab girls’ hostel building has a concrete structure with an openwork facade characterized by sinuous angular lines framing an external staircase.

The staircase runs along the outside of the hostel, appearing to divide the building in two diagonally. At its landings, the staircase adjoins a series of outdoor leisure spaces that the architects hoped would encourage socialization.

Learn more about Girls Hostel Block ›


Kengo Kuma scale
The photo is by Jordi Anguera, courtesy of Kriskadecor

Casa Batlló, Spain, by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Surrounded by sculptural wire mesh curtains, this staircase by Kengo Kuma and Associates is located inside Antoni Gaudí’s renovated Casa Batlló in Barcelona.

Kuma has covered the staircase and foyer with aluminum chains that gradually shorten and change color as they ascend and descend into the space.

Find out more about Casa Batlló ›


Mark Tower by BIG
The photo is by Rasmus Hjortshøj

Marsk Tower, Denmark, by BIG

Designed by the Danish architectural firm BIG, this observation tower is made up entirely of a double-helix spiral staircase.

The 25-meter tower widens as it approaches the top to form a viewing platform that offers 360-degree views of the marshes that give the structure its name. The platform is accessible via an ascent of 146 steps or via an elevator located in the center of the tower.

Learn more about Mark Tower ›


Staircase designed by Kelly Wearstler
The photo is from The Ingalls

Austin Proper Hotel and Residences, USA, by Kelly Wearstler

Interior designer Kelly Wearstler incorporated a white oak staircase into her design for the Austin Proper Hotel and Residences which doubles as an exhibition area.

The stepped shape of the step continued along the balustrade and also cascaded into the surrounding areas with its volumes used as plinths to display vases and vases.

Learn more about Austin Proper Hotel and Residences ›


Image of a staircase from the Audrey boutique in China by Liang Architecture Studio
The photo is by Shao Feng

Audrey Boutique, China, by Liang Architecture Studio

Set between spectacular curved concrete walls, this spiral staircase in a clothing boutique in Hangzhou, China was designed by Liang Architecture Studio.

The steel spiral staircase connects the two levels of the shop. On the ground floor, the staircase is marked by a circular carpet in the same color as its rust hue.

Find out more about Audrey Boutique ›


X-Staircase at OMA's POST Houston
The photo is by Leonid Furmansky

POST Houston, USA, by OMA

Dutch architecture firm OMA refurbished a United States Postal Service building, transforming it into a multi-purpose cultural and commercial venue connected by sculptural staircases.

One of the stairs located within the POST Houston has a Piranesian quality, consisting of two sets of mirrored concrete steps supported by a green substructure. The two sets of stairs zigzag and dogleg throughout the atrium to create two X shapes when viewed from the front.

Learn more about POST Houston ›


External stairs at Les Habitations in Montreal
The photo is by James Brittain

Les Habitations, Montreal, by Saia Barbarese Topouzanov

Canadian architecture firm Saia Barbarese Topouzanov has added colorful spiral staircases to housing units in Montreal’s Saint-Michael neighborhood.

Spiral staircases were added to a Brutalist-style residential complex built in the 1970s, providing balconies for the apartments. They have been pigmented in seven different shades from pale yellow to brick red.

Find out more about Les Habitations ›

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