Architect's Toolbox: Aim High Interior Railings

Stairs, balconies, porches and much more all have railings to protect people and to make it easier to climb a stair or to lean when taking in an opinion. These are the practical needs of an interior home rail. And building codes will dictate the minimum standards for the way the railing is to accomplish these functions.

Nevertheless railings are a lot more. A well-designed, well appointed and carefully considered railroad adds charm, whimsy, art and fashion into a project. Although there is nothing wrong with selecting standard parts from a catalogue, developing a unique railing that evokes something about your self and what you like, while it’s made from wood, metal, glass, plastic or another material, is rewarding.

Just remember to ensure your railing complies with the regional building codes. No sense in getting fun if you’re not being secure too!

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Wood spindles are a really common rail option. A nice thing about wood is that it may be cut into so many shapes and types, like a paddle. The owner of this home must be a boater, or maybe the home is on a pond. In any case, this railing is not typical and is all the more appreciated for this.

Studio C Architecture & Interiors

Simple wood slats in a frame make for an easy-to-build and economical railing. The small cutouts provide that little touch of detail that makes the railing special.

Bruce Palmer Interior Design

This railing makes me think of Duchamp’s”Nude Descending a Staircase.” The shape and form of the spindles give a sense of this cubist figure twisting her way down the stairs.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Metal is another fantastic material for a stair railing. These metal railings are so expressive of movement, producing the sensation of waves cascading down the stairs.

Winder Gibson Architects

This metal railing also gives that sense of movement.

Cushman Design Group

Rather than expressing energy and movement, these metal railings celebrate the link of part to part.

DuBro Architects + Builders

Following is a railing that really marries the chances of wood and metal in a cost-effective way. The perforated metal screen enriches what would be just a plain railing.

Birdseye Design

Another favorite is the metal pipe railing. These kinds evoke images of the decks of great cruise ships.

KuDa Photography

For modern interiors the glass railing appears to be the norm. The light and transparency permit the geometry of the stair and the space all about to come through.

Phil Kean Designs

The stair can now be one large sculptural element floating in the area.

those hands catching at the railing will certainly leave a few smudges. I would need to be continuously wiping cleaning and down the railing like it is my iPhone.

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Susan M. Davis

Maybe a more pliable substance, such as a translucent glass, are more appropriate for folks like me.

Webber + Studio, Architects

Translucent glass works particularly well in a program where the overall sense is more about mild rather than transparency.

Nic Darling

Another approach to building a rail is to allow it to grow from stair . This encloses the space of the stair, making it into a room.

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Fougeron Architecture FAIA

The room generated can be more open. The metal screen here’s a thin, gossamer-like material that defines the stairs but does not block them off.

Birdseye Design

Railings may also be made of found materials that were collected onsite.

More Architect’s Toolbox: Scale and Proportion

10 High Designs to the Handrail
Keep Your Balance: Cool Railings

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