Jun 293 min read

How to Design Staircases: Everything you need to know!

written by

Aishwarya Bomble

Among all the building elements in architecture, the staircase is one of the most crucial and tedious to design. Its significance extends beyond vertical circulation, as it plays a vital role in enhancing user experience, creating visual impact, and optimizing space utilization. Understanding the art of staircase design is an essential skill for architects, enabling them to craft spaces that seamlessly connect levels. In this blog, we will be exploring various components, types, features, and architectural considerations of staircases.

Parts of Staircase 

Parts.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

Standard Dimensions

Dimensions.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

Types of Staircases

From the classic straight-flight staircase to the intricate spiral staircase, each type offers unique characteristics, aesthetics, and advantages.

Straight Flight

  • A straight-flight staircase consists of a straight run of steps that ascend or descend in a single direction without any change in direction or intermediate landings. 

  • Can be used in a long, narrow space & is easy to construct in masonry, concrete & precast.

  • Clear view & less chance to fall but cannot be used as a single option for multiple storeys.

Straight flight.pngcantilever.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

Spiral Staircase

  • Spiral stairs follow a helical arc & the treads radiate around a pole making it compact & ideal for small spaces.

  • This makes spiral staircases particularly popular in small homes, lofts, or spaces with limited floor area, allowing efficient vertical circulation without sacrificing the floor area

  • Easy to install but uncomfortable to climb compared to other types.

Spiralpng.pngspiral dimensions.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

U shaped Staircase

  • It consists of two flights of stairs connected by a landing, forming a U-shape in the plan

  • Economical & efficient use of the available space, so most commonly used

  • It has two subtypes- a dog-legged and open well staircase.

u shaped.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

Dog legged 

  • A dog-legged staircase consists of two flights of stairs that change direction in a 180-degree turn, resembling the shape of a dog's hind leg in elevation.

  • This type of staircase is widely used in residential and commercial buildings due to its efficient use of space and easy construction.

Open Well

  • An open well staircase is similar to a dog-legged staircase consisting of two flights of stairs that change direction in a 180-degree turn but with a space between two flights.

  • Provides privacy between the floors & an additional space for storage & light can be obtained

doglegged & open well.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

L shaped Staircase

  • It consists of two flights with a turn of 90° at mid landing where the turn may also be curved or bifurcated.

  • Occupies more space, so generally used as a feature staircase, making access more comfortable.

  • It has two subtypes- bifurcated and quarter-turn.

L shaped.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

Quarter Turn

  • In this type of staircase, a flight takes a single 90 degrees turn in the plan


  • In this type of staircase, two flights take a 90 degrees turn in opposite directions, so also known as a split staircase.

bifurcated & quarter.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

Points to Remember

Here are a few points to remember according to the General Building Requirements

  • There shall be a minimum of two staircases, one of them shall be an enclosed stairway & the other shall be on the external walls of the building and shall open directly to the exterior, interior open space, or to any open place of safety.

  • Single staircases may be accepted for educational, business, or group housing societies with a floor area of max. 300 sq m. & height of the building is max. 24 m. plus other requirements bylaws.

  • The single staircase in such a case shall be on the outer wall of the building.

table.pngCredits - Aishwarya Bomble

Aishwarya Bomble

Aishwarya Bomble

An architect who is always on the go to share stories of her countless journeys.