The stair of the week is really an amphitheater in disguise

Four Seasons Centre Stair
CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter/ Four Seasons Centre Stair

The idea point of the Stair of the Week is to highlight designs that make you want to climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, stairs so attractive that they are not just a method of going up or down, but make getting there half the fun.

From the outside, Toronto's Four Seasons Centre, home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet, is mostly unimpressive, the black monolith that ate a whole block of the city. On the inside, it just glows. Architects Diamond Schmitt filled it with warm wood and gracious spaces, dominated by this huge, wide stair that is both a way to move and a place to sit.

© Canadian Music Hall of Fame

In fact, it is more than just a stair; it is often used as an amphitheatre for concerts. Note how there is a handrail that defines the required exit with for fire regulations, while all the rest is there for all those other things that stairs can do: look great, provide seating, serve multiple functions, provide a place where you can see and be seen.

(UPDATE: I got this wrong. The COC clarifies in comments so I will not correct it here.)

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

That's what a good public stair should be.

Tags: Stairs | Toronto