Internal staircases reduce the connection between upper stories and the life of the street to such an extend that they can do enormous social damage.


Do away, as far as possible, with internal staircases, in institutions. Connect all autonomous households, public services, and workgroups on the upper floors of buildings directly to the ground. Do this by creating open stairs which are approaches directly from the street. Keep the stair roofed or unroofed, according to climate, but at all events leave the stair open at ground level, without a door, so that the stair is functionally a continuation of the street. And build no upstairs corridors. Instead, make open landings or an open arcade where upstairs units share a single stair.

… most of the last patterns - Rooms to Rent (153), Teenager’s Cottage (154), Settled Work (156), Home Workshop (157) - can be upstairs, provided that they have direct connections to the street. Far more generally, it is true that many of the households, public services, and workgroups given by earlier patterns can be successful when they lie upstairs, only if they are given direct connections to the street. For instance, in a work community Self-Governing Workshops and Offices (80), Small Services Without Red Tape (81), Small Work Groups (148) all require direct access to the public street when they are on the upper stories of a building. And in the individual households - House for a Small Family (76), House for a Couple (77), House for One Person (78) also need direct connections to the street, so people do not need to go through lower floors to get to them. This pattern describes the open stairs which may be used to form these many individual connections to the street. They play a major role in helping to create Pedestrian Street (100).

Where the stair comes down to the ground, make an entrance which helps to repair the family of entrances that exist already on the street - Family of Entrances (102); make the landings and the top of the stair, where it reaches the roof, into gardens where things can grow and where people can sit in the sun - Roof Garden (118), Sunny Place (161). Remember Stair Seats (125), and build the stair according to Staircase Volume (195)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 740medium-confidence