Stairs are such a difficult thing for architects trying to work in small spaces. Beside the stairs, there is the issue of the handrail, necessary for safety, and the guard, that keeps kids shorter than the handrail from falling through. In some jurisdictions the rules for guards are so strict that all you can do are pickets designed so that a 4" sphere cannot pass through, but vertical so that kids can't climb them and throw themselves over. In the end most architects just specify expensive glass, or put in temporary plywood that's removed as soon as the building inspector has gone.
There is a lot that could be complained about in this stair, installed in a 915 square foot renovation in Turin, Italy by Studiota; it's narrow, and it doesn't have an outside handrail. But it does have a handrail on the wall, cleverly recessed into it. That's a lot safer than no handrail at all.Of course with such a rail you have to wash your hands all the time or expect to repaint, it's not very practical. I do like the way the ledge/ bench is integrated into the staircase.
The rest of the apartment is quite lovely; see it all on Freshome.
Why do I keep showing these stairs? Because it is one of the big problems in small space design, how you deal with multiple levels without the stair taking up so much space, both physically and visually. A 3' wide stair with solid handrail and guard is big and clunky; there must be a better way.