Research article about staircase seating

“Chunky steps are ideal in spaces for children, where large steps become extra play surfaces and stages for shows.”

This article that I have read has proven very insightful in aiding my understanding of not only socialising in communal space, in general, but specifically on staircase additions to building- relating directly to my plans of designing my own form of staircase seating.

The article touches on users ability to congregate between floors of a building, which one may initially think does not relate to my plans of making a form of outdoor staircase seating- however, the ability that the space creates to remove people from their regular locations in order to allow them to socialise in a different way is directly what I am trying to create with my FMP project. The article shows steps which have high treads and low rises, creating perfect forms of seating- which is also something which I have been working to incorporate into my designs.

Adding extra width onto an existing staircase space creates more willingness for users to socialise on the stairs- as it takes away the pressure of being in a rush or having to move out of someone’s way.  All of these minor contenders, such as higher treads and more inviting layouts lead towards an non-invasive form of promoting socialising.

Looking specifically into educational buildings and spaces which are intended for students, the article gives an insight into how the appearance of a robust, strong surface, such as a chunkier step is more appealing, specifically for a young child, to sit on.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 16.02.07.pngSjötorget Kindergarten by Rotstein Arkitekter


A house in Casavells by 05 AM Arquitectura, as shown below:

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 16.03.24.pngshows a surface which is 3 steps deep and wide, creating the optimal space for multiple people to sit.

In reflection, I have found this article very useful in its broad range of evidencing different forms of communal staircase seating- whilst giving specific technical details; such as which tread depth is most effective for users to double the staircase as a seating space.

The images were insightful and clear, with an easily accessibly reference of space/designer for me to do further reading into.

From this research, I will more closely tailor the way in which I am designing my outdoor staircase seating, with a consideration to how to directly promote productive socialising in a subtle and instinctive way.


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