We’ve featured a few staircases on this blog that have that little extra something to encourage people to use them. They range from stairs with motivational messages and information about calories burned to stairs that have been transformed into a giant piano, playing a different note when a foot lands on each step.
However, a staircase in a Denver apartment building has taken the concept to a whole new level, providing a visual and audio feast for those who opt for the stairs over taking the lift.
The Mariposa District is an urban development in the south of the city that is home to affordable housing, as well as being close to the city’s prime artistic and creative hub. And this creativity has been the inspiration behind the innovative staircase design which takes residents on a journey to stimulate the mind and the senses.
The first thing you notice is the handrail, which has buttons embedded into it, each one playing its own unique sound – ranging from drum beats to birdsong and the sound of thunder during a storm. Those latter sound effects begin to make more sense as you climb the stairs.
Glass panels positioned next to the handrail tell a story that unfolds as you get higher and higher. The panels contain the story of the Mayan god Kukulkan, chosen due to the neighbourhood’s large Hispanic and Latino population, and is part of a wider theme featuring various elements of Mesoamerican culture.
As well as the sounds and glass panels, the staircase also features LED lighting that hangs down from the ceiling changes colour in response to the sounds played and replicate sunrise, sunset and weather conditions to fit in with the mood of the story. In keeping with the strong artistic scene, all the artwork for the piece was provided by local artists.
The staircase is believed to be the only one of its kind anywhere in the word and is part of a wider redevelopment of the surrounding area. The area features 800 residential apartments with rental prices starting at just $300 a month.
Written by David Chapman of UK Stair Parts.