The stair has always translated into forms the practical necessity of linking uphill, modeling and measuring the shapes of the earth with steps. But it has as well defined a physical space for the most important spiritual aspirations of man.
Thus, like the other universal elements of architecture, the scale first shows a function closely linked to the essence of form (an ontological function), and then expresses a symbolic value that transcends form.
The different relationship between ontological and symbolic function results in formal and semantic variations. This book, which derives from Paolo Marcoaldi’s PhD Thesis, takes a different focus on some distant architectures in time or a very close past, and suggests a new way of reading the history of architecture through the lens of a single element.