The staircase is a metaphor element both in speech and in architectural construction. The connection of different levels and the movement it imposes characterize and determinate its mode of usage. Ideal as well as built staircases determinate the movement and the required effort to walk on them, forcing the user to follow a specific gait.
The main goal of the staircase is to carry the human body between two levels. The vertical dimension that enters movement hinders the human body and therefore, the observance of certain anthropometrical prerequisites is necessary so as to facilitate both ascend and descend. When a human body goes up or down a staircase follows a specific gait, shifts the center of gravity proportionately and an intense fatigue and a change of breathing is observed, while, at the same time, the sense of vision and touch becomes more intense.
Various theories adopt the structure of the staircase in order to explain and compare the ideas they support. The staircase is, namely, used as a metaphor element in art, religion, psychoanalysis, architecture, taking advantage of the relation between highest and lowest, the effort required for ascend and the facility of descend, the expectation of the conquest of the top, the diagonal element and other elements of the staircase.
The way a staircase is built could, from the other hand, intimate the user about the building and direct his vision towards particular points. Through a staircase an expectation is implied, while the particular way of a staircase’s development in levels permits its multi-use, thus, serving the different needs of the building. In other words, when a staircase is regarded as a main architectural element and not only as practical element of the building, could cover the important demands of the structure and organize the place in such a way so as the main idea could be estimated.
The relation that associates the staircase and the body is not purely discernible. Factors specified by the body affect its form and inversely the staircase forces the body to acquire a specific way of movement. This fact enforces its use as a metaphor element in speech, while its regard within architectural structure reveals its multidimensional nature. Indeed, in some cases, speech and architecture are not totally separated as theoretical thoughts take shape by means of the staircase in constructions, based on the body movement on ascend and descend.