Monday, 12 April 2010

A Stairwell Book...

I've always had a soft spot for book rooms in houses. Where you have to have your little set of stairs to get up to the top or ones that run around a rail. It's all a bit of theatre, but going from a kid who never read, I've gone to a proto-25 year old who's bedroom is primarily books. There is, however, little room for literature left in my room and it's therefore scattered all over the place, with no real rhythm or rhyme, so when I saw this concept, I was a little jealous.

The designer, Tom Sloan of Levitate Architects, has designed a space saving solution in a Victorian flat which marries a severe lack of space and the fashion for book rooms. This is done by lining the stairwell in bookshelves which project out on alternate shelves to make steps for the staircase.

"We created a ’secret’ staircase, hidden from the main reception room, to access a new loft bedroom lit by roof lights. Limited by space, we melded the idea of a staircase with our client’s desire for a library to form a ‘library staircase’ in which English oak stair treads and shelves are both completely lined with books." - Tom Sloan (Apartment Therapy)

This is the sort of thing I'd build in a house ever without a second floor, somewhere you could sit and peruse your books and hide away from the world, which wouldn't be dissimilar to the set of The Seven Year Itch. In the film Tom Ewell's character's apartment has had its stairs blocked off which would naturally lead to the upper floor of the house and Marilyn Monroe's apartment (thus creating two rental properties). The stairs have, however been left in-situ and have been lined with books creating the perfect place to hide and read. Not that Ewell's character does much reading.

I've always had a soft spot for stairs leading to nowhere, like these ones in Perth I photographed a few years ago:

I assume they used to lead somewhere, but I haven't got the foggiest, which is exactly why I like them.

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