Staircases serve a purpose of connecting the floors in a home — and they achieve this function through a variety of shapes, designs, and materials.
As such, they provide the foundation for an interesting architectural moment that can be expanded on — a moment that reaches far beyond the stairs’ functional purpose.
Enter the glass stair tower.
A vertical intersection of glass and light
The glass stair tower is, essentially, a staircase surrounded by one or more walls of windows to create a light-filled, tower-inspired effect.
Chief architect Marc Camens originally introduced this architectural design to Kiawah Island as a solution to meet the Architecture Review Board’s exacting criteria that limited the vertical reach of a two-story-house.
“Some of my first homes on Kiawah in 2000 featured the glass stair towers — often in combination with an elevator,” says Camens. “They became a light shaft in the home — especially when designed with a glass ceiling. They’re also a portal to showcase the glorious surrounding views.”
A celebration of the view
In the Lowcountry, we’re often building on sites that come equipped with truly incredible sight lines — from all vantage points. That’s another beautiful thing about a glass stair tower that works to bring the outside in, even in this transitional place in the home.
When ascending or descending the stairs, the view changes at every step taken and different elements of the landscape come into focus — from bodies of water to marshes, woods, trees, golf courses, and beyond.
Merging light and flow
Ultimately, these glass stair towers epitomize one way that light and flow serve as core energetic elements of a home. The light brings vitality to this vertical space, with an open design ushering in fluidity of form.
From classic-meets-contemporary coastal architecture, to a traditional class act that’s surrounded by flora and fauna and beyond, the stair tower is at home in any number of one-of-a-kind styles and designs.
At Camens Architectural Group, we’re all about wrapping a home around how you live and allowing you to take in the views of nature.
We’re passionate about making every experience in your home — even climbing up and down the stairs — a beautiful delight. See more of our portfolio of work here.