Other types of stairs 221 The external approach

In some buildings the main approach is external with elaborate steps leading the

Figure 2.13a Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1872-81 (Gottfried Semper): View from vestibule
Figure 2.13b-c Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna: Outline plan, first floor; (c) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna: Outline plan, ground floor

visitor to the front door on the piano nobile. Palladio often used this format, with turret stairs hidden within masonry piers. Chiswick House (Figure 2.18), a miniaturized copy of the Rotonda (Villa Capra), is a fine example, with elaborate steps on two fa├žades leading to the main living areas. But the vertical circulation, both up and down, is situated in four turret stairs built into the masonry corners of the central octagonal saloon. The winders are very tight, being less than 1 000 mm wide. These minimal stairs show the social division of separate stairs for master and servant.

At the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank by Foster and Partners in 1986 (Figures 2.19 a-c), two escalators take customers from the open area on street level up to the banking hall at first floor. From there service cores with cloakrooms, subsidiary stairs and lifts, serve the upper offices, these cores forming features on the exterior.

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