Steps and Stairs Elevate Modern Exterior Entryways

Water gives contour to character — carving places like the Grand Canyon, for instance — but in addition, it determines a great deal of house’s form and the way it relates to character. Beyond the roofs, walls and windows — the obstacles that keep water from getting inside a house — there’s a less-obvious concern: the entrance. Water, especially rainwater, points toward bettering a house’s first floor over the surrounding landscape. The area of elevation fluctuates depending on the local climate and soil conditions, but in most instances the demand for a house to shed water, to keep water from the living spaces, is paramount and one which gives shape to the approach. This ideabook looks at a variety of ascending approaches, mainly steps but also staircase.

Charles Rose Architects Inc..

This house on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, turns the entrance into a ceremonial path cutting through the yard. The timber screen on the left is the back edge of the sack. A wood door provides direct access to the house, however, the formal entrance sits at the top of the stone steps. The glass entrance frames the skies and water beyond, making the outside path a desired option.

Charles Rose Architects Inc..

A vertical view shows how the steps are notched to the miniature yard.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

A technique similar to the previous example occurs in this house, with solid steps put into gravel beds framed with metal edging. The steps have an appealing informality, possibly inspired by the large oak tree.

186 Lighting Design Group – Gregg Mackell

This house’s steps also are casual, zigging and zagging up the front door. However, the lights tucked from the gap between the floating steps are what catch the focus and guide the movement.

Dale Jones-Evans Pty Ltd Architecture

This house in Australia puts the staircase at the sidewalk, on the high side of land (reducing the number of steps needed). The staircase blend in the stone wall which forms the border of the house. A guardrail is evident along the staircase.

Dale Jones-Evans Pty Ltd Architecture

A closeup of the guardrail exemplifies the habit artistic layout, which is striated like the stone wall but available, giving a glimpse to where the stairs lead.

Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

Most steps are located closer to the house, near the front door. These steps are even tucked into a little entry courtroom.

Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

In addition to positioning, this closer view illustrates the growth of the steps is vital. These are the shallowest steps in these pictures up to now. With their heavy treads, the staircase have a very gentle ascent, setting the tone for the remainder of the house.

Griffin Enright Architects

Articulation of steps is also a consideration. These steps seem monolithic, whereas many of those previous cases floated or needed a lip on the fold. This material treatment is in agreement with the concrete walls of the house.


For a variety of reasons a house might have its original floor positioned high enough that staircase make more sense than steps. (The difference: Measures sit on the floor, while staircase lie over it.) These stairs are accentuated with red paint, solid guardrails and by being tucked into a corner.

Studio Troika

A similar therapy occurs within this sunporch addition, in which the stair guardrail along with the walls are unified.

This is another rear addition that takes a very different way of entrance. The staircase are tucked within the squarish quantity, concealing them from various angles and acting like a slot or narrow canyon people ascend.

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