Monday, August 2, 2010

Upstairs Downstairs..An Update



A Crazy New Staircase. I love the look of it but not sure I'd climb it without a rail. I'm sure its not finished, I hope. Of course you can see from an old post that the idea is hardly new.

From Gizmodo: "These are the stairs of the new Salvador Dalí museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Encased in 18-inch thick concrete walls, it can resist a 165mph Category 5 hurricane without blinking.The director of the museum says that the architecture "combines elements of the classical and the fantastical," like Dalí's own work. I will believe it when everything is covered in gold and time begins to melt. [Archdaily]




I have always had a love of staircases and thought that this would make a great subject for a posting here at Homer's Odd. My first memory of a staircase was of course sitting at the the top of the front hall stairs while the folks were having a party down below and wanting to be a part of all the fun until being told upon being caught, to get back to bed.

Staircases are grand and sweeping or they can be narrow and steep. Each design has it's own purpose and reason. The classic television series "Upstairs Downstairs," showed the importance of the staircase in Edwardian London.

Staircases are escapes or the route to love.

In my travels around the world, I have seen and climbed some great staircases. Starting from the Acropolis to St. Peter's, to Borobodur and Buckingham Palace.

These steps have always captured a greater moment in my memory than the place itself. It made me think. Why are stairs so important? A few thoughts come to mind. When climbing a new staircase you are rising, you are entering. It is unknown, it is a new experience. Your heart beats a bit faster, your eyes widen, the stairs are the cause.

Staircases are simply a functional architectural necessity to get you from one level to the next. They do however transcend their purpose in so many ways. They can denote class stratifications, they are pulpits, lecterns, they are structures used for grand ceremonial occasions.They are places of historic importance, they are the place where time changes. They are the spot where once your little girl bounced down in her pj's to where she threw her bouquet on her wedding day.

Staircases are where inaugurations are held or great civil rights speeches are given. I believe we choose staircases to hold these important functions because they symbolize transcendence. They allow the speaker and the audience to believe that we can achieve what is spoken. That is what makes stairs important. Be they wooden or marble I love to climb them. Here are a few pictures of great staircases.



Angor Wat

A Crazy Staircase

Grand Central Station New York City

Tulip Staircase Queens House Greenwich

Buckingham Palace Grand Staircase



Bovolostaircase Venice



Chambord by Da Vinci


The Exorcist Staircase, Georgetown

The Titanic Staircase


Survivors Staircase World Trade Center

70 comments:

Cote de Texas said...

What a gorgeous, gorgeous entry! simply beautiful!!!!
thanks for the comment, too!!!!

Joni

Brilliant Asylum said...

That staircase at Chambord was amazing to see in person. I would love to visit the others!

My Notting Hill said...

Have you ever been to the Ariel Rios federal building here in DC? The spiral staircase w/art deco chandelier is incredible (it took my breath away first time seeing it) If you already have been there this will be redundant but just in case here is quote from the web site: "Starburst chandeliers with exposed light bulbs descend seven stories through the open center of two magnificent marble circular staircases, alluding to the post office mission, a design of twisted serpents surmounted by wings, a traditional symbol of Mercury, Roman messenger of the gods, decorates The bronze balustrades"

Here's the link - http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?contentType=GSA_BASIC&contentId=20367

willow said...

There's something very majestic and nostalgic about beautiful staircases. Lovely post.

Be the change..... said...

Staircases are the jewelry and drama of a home. My favorite staircase is the staircase of the royal palace in Naples - SO beautiful, given prominent location with windows 360 degrees around it - I have a few photos if you're interested!
I totally want to see that staircase that my notting hill mentions, do you think it's open to the public?

Barbara said...

Wonderful post from a new reader.
A sensitive array indeed. I think the song "I'll Build a Stairway to the Stars" would be a great accompaniement to your theme.

Well done.
BarbaraG

JAN BRADEL said...

Fan of Escher?

Roxanne Steed said...

Sorry this link is as long as the stairs, but it's an amazing place you've got to see- Skellig Michael over off the coast of Ireland. Thousand yrs. old & about 600 of them, leads up to an ancient monastery of stone bee-hive huts, interesting little microclimate up there! http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.irelandtravelpictures.net/Ireland-travel-Irish-Skellig-Michael-Lothann-pic.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.irelandtravelpictures.net/&h=511&w=480&sz=65&tbnid=QH4b-0EmO7cgFM:&tbnh=131&tbnw=123&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dskellig%2Bmichael%2Bireland&zoom=1&q=skellig+michael+ireland&usg=__TMfGgm3JbUdc07xRhyZTaZoZaew=&sa=X&ei=9UqlTKSxDcG88gabuLSTDw&ved=0CDAQ9QEwBA

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Erica said...

Simply beautiful entry!

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Anonymous said...

The upword spiral - why not straight up? Because as, you pointed out, the staircase is about transendence and rising above is about surviving the slings and arrows now isn't it. As I have aged the idea of climbing a staircase for whatever reason has lost its appeal. But the beauty and the invitation to ascend is still in place. Thank you so much for the beautiful stair cases and the insightful comments. Ann

arrielle_p said...

I really love all those staircases. Hope my house has a staircase too.

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Buy Art Work - List Art For Sale said...

What lovely and breath taking photos! I love the gorgeous staircase.

Thanks for sharing!

toko baju muslim murah said...

good post nice for share

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Karen said...

The Exorcist Staircase is C.R.E.E.P.Y!!

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