Building on the theme from our earlier post on thresholds and gates, I decided to dig into the archives again for some images of garden steps. While the main function of a stair is to move you from one level to the next, the transition can create a myriad of experiences. In these three examples, each garden stair functions for a different design purpose.
Doug Hoerr likes to say these steps are 'like butter, just before it's about to melt.'
This stair traverses a garden carved out of an Indiana sand dune and cradles multi-level plantings that are the focal point from within a new, modern addition to a traditional home.
Designed as a focal point for those on the terrace across the sunken lawn, these steps are surprising in that they don’t lead to anything more than what you see, the armillary and a wall separating this property from the neighbor.
This last sample is for a house on a small knoll near a lake. Instead of a direct stair down, three cantilevered plinths – structurally engineered to lessen the impact on the bluff and give the effect of floating decks – break up a descent from house to lake and extend the horizontal qualities of the house into the landscape.
The segmented stairway encourages pause – to appreciate views, to hear sound of water falling from the zero edge pool, or to rest! Let us know your favorites!
This segmented stair breaks up the steep descent from house to lake.