12 Staircases To Die For – If They Don’t Kill You First

It makes perfect sense that there’s been an increase in minimalist and modern staircase designs given the rising number of modern architecture in the past two decades. Unlike the staircases with which most of us grew up, most of these staircases are made without risers and even without railings, making ascending or descending them a potential nightmare for anyone with a fear of heights, motion sickness, poor eyesight, vertigo, an inner ear infection, one cocktail too many or simply lacking coordination. Given that, we thought it’d be fun to share with you some of the most perilous.

Scary Staircase Designs

Nowadays stairs don’t just get you up or down a floor, they float, cantilever, suspend and glow. They’re no longer covered with carpet but made of wood, metal, stone, glass, concrete and other innovative materials. And serve as interesting ways to die.

Please note that our claims about the safety of these stairs are neither substantiated nor tested. We are merely making some assumptive commentary based on photographs of the designs. This post is meant to make you laugh, not to disparage the designers or architects of these examples.

Triangulo Residence Stairs
These metal stairs were designed for a private residence in San Juanillo, Guanacaste by EcoStudio Architects. No handrails, not set against a wall and one thin beam for support. And when you fall off either side – because you will, you get to land in a pile of rocks. Bonus.

Studio Compti Stairs
The Italian architect and designer Guido Compti must feel that designing stairs for private and commercial residences is an opportunity to exercise Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest theory. Just take a look at the Void Staircase he designed for The Gray Hotel in Milan, Italy:


And the Guido Compti designed stairs for a private villa in Firenze:

The Risa Staircase
The first version of the Risa staircase was developed in 2013 by Norwegian architect Tron Meyer, who founded the company Risa Meyer in 2014. Innovative use of Norwegian wood makes the Risa staircase unique. Each step is curved to increase foot area along the usually narrow center of the stair – barely. Horizontal wooden profiles are stacked to create a vertical spiral, giving the staircase the sculptural character of fine architectural furniture. Not only will you easily fall off this spiral staircase, but it makes an excellent scratching post for cats as well.

Corten Steel Cantilevered Staircase
Custom staircase of Corten steel designed by MetallConcept. This scary staircase assures that you have two ways of being injured. Either by falling off the actual steps or slipping on them and wedging a limb between the treads.

Marble Floating Stairs
This cantilevered staircase made of marble is in a residential home in Italy. Designed by Mg2 Architetture, it’s not only hard to see the steps because they blend into the interior, but they are cold and slippery and have big sharp edges that make great gaping head wounds.

Loft f27 Stairs
This staircase design by Schlosser and Partners, Germany for their Loft f27 is bolted to the wall in sections and held by suspension cables but still looks like a disaster waiting to happen. Tetanus shots required.

Extremely similar to the stairs shown above, The Ribbon Staircase in Liben, Prague was designed by HŠH architects. This staircase is constructed from 10mm thick sheet metal. Pairs of adjoining steps connected with an oblique external side joist form a bracket anchored in the wall. Each of the brackets is constructed as a rigid frame. The higher steps bear mainly drawing forces, while pressure is transmitted through the lower steps. Oh and yeah, they’re totally dangerous.

Cantilevered Concrete Stairs
Rough cast concrete cantilevered stairs designed for the C-51 House by Ábaton Arquitectura appear to float in air. No visible supports or suspension cables. And no banister or balustrade. These are like magic. Magic with three directions to fall from: forward, to the left or to the right.

Shallard House Stairs
The designer and co-owner of this house, engineer Guy Shallard, created theses individual triangular folded steel stairs that are bolted into the block wall. They to lead up to the open floor plan of this elevated home. Shallard’s New Zealand architecture firm Lat Forty Five, which built this home, is no longer in business. Must be the staircase injury lawsuits that put them under.


photo © Jamie Cobeldick

Zig Zag Wooden Stairs
The clunky, deep wooden stairs set askew in a narrow space were designed for a residence in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2006, by Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom of TAF Studio). Clearly meant to kill you.

Cabin Stairs
Wooden stairs to take you up to the loft within this Mountain Cabin were designed by Swiss Architect Rapin Saiz. While they are absolutely beautiful, they are narrow and deep with giant open risers. It’s no wonder the owner took his shoes off. He’d be tripping all over himself trying to climb these in those boots.

Trescalini Aero
Now, for the most outrageous and wickedly risky design. The Aero extra clear glass steps with led light systems by Trescalini are attached to one wall and alternate straight stairs with shifted steps. What kind of fresh hell is this? At least there’s an illuminated handrail that you can attempt to grasp as as you fall to your death.

And worth noting…
Dubourg Staircase
This wild and functional metal triple story staircase was commissioned for a private London home, designed by furniture designer and artist Vincent Dubourg and manufactured with the help of Roxburgh Construction. While it’s clearly supported and looks safe from overhead, it’s basically a mental mindfuck from the bottom looking up.

images courtesy of CWG

Whether custom made or mass produced for residential and commercial interiors, there are staircases in almost every sort of configuration and material imaginable. And we have an inspiring Pinterest Board full of them.

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