Why choose a simple set of steps when you can opt for a staircase that doubles as a meeting space or breakout area?

Stairs can be ubiquitous in the workplace, particularly for bigger companies with larger floor plans and open plan layouts. They are so popular because they are built with an obvious goal in mind, and that is simply to facilitate movement from one floor to another.

Sculptural, multipurpose stair inside software company Atlassian's offices in Austin, Texas. By lauckgroup

But what if you could encourage interaction in a space as transient as the staircase? What if you could you take it up a notch by incorporating extra functions? Could a multipurpose staircase that doubles as a meeting space or a breakout area be the solution to your tired office? Could it be the way to a cleverer, more dynamic workplace?

Benches, seating areas and breakout spaces make for a great addition to a staircase, provided you have enough floorspace. The most important requirement for an efficient multipurpose staircase is to define a clear space for movement. Balustrades, a clever layout or a simple change of materials can help set boundaries.

Stair and bench space in Arnold Worldwide's Boston office. 
Staircase doubles as meeting space inside international ad agency Wieden+Kennedy's New York offices. By Work Architecture. Photo: Bruce Damonte via designboom 

Stairs can also serve multiple purposes when adorned with lush living walls, vibrant office murals or even feature walls. And since greenery and art in the workplace both have an impact on your wellbeing at the office, why not integrate them to your central staircase for everyone, including prospects, to marvel at?

Informal meeting hubs withing Soho's Living Staircase in London. By Paul Cocksedge 
TripAdvisor's Needham, Massachusetts headquarters, by Baker Design Group
Dentsu Aegis network offices in Shanghai boast a lush living walll. By PDM International
Colourful office mural inside coworking space Le Campus, Paris. By Virserius Studio

Made in Bulgaria, raised in Morocco, "matured" in the UK, Elissaveta is our Editor-in-Chief. Her career started in the field of architecture and design where she developed a talent for creative thinking and an eye for aesthetics. In 2014, she found her calling in design journalism and now has over three years’ experience in writing about design & architecture.