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Nothing boring here: 5 stunning staircases you'll fall for

Stairs might seem boring and utilitarian – used for trudging up and down. But for architects they are often the starting point of a design and can sometimes turn into an art form

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Glazing on one side of the staircase helps give it an open feel, and fir slats on the other were used to keep the wall translucent. They also connect the inside of the West Vancouver home to its outside, with those same slats used on the carport. Designed by Kevin Vallely, while he was with Kallweit Graham Architecture.

Photo by Peter Powles

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Made from CNC-milled plywood – a computerized process that allows wood to be specially cut into various shapes and sizes – and assembled by hand, this staircase maximizes space in the entryway. “It was also designed to channel light from the clerestory window above down to the main floor,” says Betsy Williamson of Williamson Chong Architects. The home is on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Georgian Bay.

Photo by Bob Gundu

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This concept Vertebrae Staircase by Andrew McConnell, an intern architect at Francl Architecture in Vancouver, was inspired by the spine of a whale and British industrial designer Ross Lovegrove’s DNA staircase. Each interlocking piece would include one step, a segment and banister and part of a hand rail.

Image by Andrew McConnell

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Designed by Cindy Rendely Architexture in Toronto, the stair is made of oxidized steel with solid oak treads and handrails, glass guards and polished stainless steel “button” connections. Rendely, who trained as a goldsmith, jeweller and metal artist before becoming an architect, wanted to work with steel to play off the exposed steel throughout the rest of the house.

Photo by Shai Gil

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The board-form concrete walls in this Brampton, Ont. house have the texture of concrete but the impression of wood – the treads are made of jatoba, or Brazilian cherry, and are set at uneven heights to suggest cascading water, a subtle nod to the nearby river. Designed by Agathom Co.

Photo by Michael Awad

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