According to Mark Roemer Oakland, most people fail to realize the importance of staircases in our lives even though they form an integral part of every building, be it residential or commercial. The design and construction of staircases have evolved throughout the years, and you can learn a lot about human civilization, its culture, and our beliefs by studying the history of staircases.
Here are a few important facts to learn about staircases:
1. The origin – The origin of staircases can be traced back to around 6000 BC when they were first used to travel from lower grounds to higher grounds. Symbolically, stairs represent a lot of interesting ideas since they allow you to move upward. For one, moving to higher ground is always advantageous, especially if you have to protect yourself from predators. So, ancient people could’ve seen staircases as providing safety. Plus, ancient people could have considered a means to access the divine Lord due to its function.
This idea can be seen in cultures around the world even today since you have to climb high staircases when visiting temples, mosques, or even the pyramids of Egypt!
2. Improvement in the design – The first staircases were built using natural materials such as wood and hand-carved stones in order to avoid geological dangers. However, as we evolved as a human species, we started to implement staircases in several different areas such as castles and forts in Kingdoms that were often used by soldiers. As a result, the military during the eras implemented new staircase designs that would allow them to win battles and achieve victory easily.
3. Modernization – Around the 1400s when the Jacobean styles began to emerge, the staircases were infused with modern designs that sported luxury. During that period, art and fashion had a huge impact on staircase design, and staircases were designed by talented craftsmen for kings and queens.
4. Variety of design – With time, starting from the late to the early Georgian era, the aesthetic value of staircases began to decline, and it was primarily constructed to serve its function better. Thus, the design of the balusters also changed with time along with the materials used to build them from long ago. Further modernization led to the usage of different types of materials such as wrought iron and metal to construct staircases and balusters instead of traditional wood, stones, and granite.
Since the discovery of elevators, staircases are designed to utilize less space and are built with simple designs to cut down the cost of money and time needed to build them.
5. Present-day – Modern staircases can be called machines and are designed to run electrically and are built with mobile stairs. Such staircases are known as escalators. However, you can still find old staircases designs in many economically backward areas due to the disparity between the rich and the poor.
Mark Roemer Oakland believes that traditional staircases would continue to be built as a protocol for emergency purposes even though elevators and escalators have become pretty common.