Tom Walma

Staircase House

Business, InventionTom WalmaComment

A typical house is full of wasted space.  There is a lot of wasted horizontal space, such as hallways and staircases, and even unnecessary walls.  There is also a lot of wasted vertical space, because if you think about it, when you walk through a room, you only walk in specific paths, usually in the middle of the room, so the ceiling doesn't need to be as high in many sections of the room, primarily the corners. 

The idea of the staircase house is to reduce wasted space.  It would scatter sets of 1, 2, or 3 stairs throughout the house, and have the house spiral around to enable it to have multiple stories.  It wouldn't be a gradual spiral, it would have some places with several stairs close together and other large flat areas.  The bulk of the house would be one large room, with sections for kitchens, etc.  There would be no hallways.  The ceiling would be of variable height, and with clever design, would fit 3 stories in the vertical space of 2 stories, without feeling cramped.

Appliances, drawers, etc. could be placed up on a "stair" so you don't ever have to bend down to reach anything, such as the bottom of the fridge, for example.

The stairs would all be the same height, and would be made out of snap-in pieces, which would utilize space cleverly.  For example, stairs may slide open like drawers or open up vertically for storage like a storage chest.  Some stairs may open up into theatre type chairs, so you could have a mini theatre in the middle of a room where there is normally walking space, for example.  There could be couches that mount onto stairs so the bottom backside of the couch is empty space, thus reducing the size and weight of the couch.

The house would have less open air space, thus the heating bills would be less.

You could have really clever things to save space, such as:

  • Pool table with bed on top where the bed is raised to the ceiling above the pool table when the bed is not in use, and maybe even the pool table opens up into a mini laundry room
  • Flat-panel TV and mirror that both slide out of wall in front of large window, so either the mirror, TV, or window is visible.  Could also have a slide-out whiteboard

I also like the idea of a walk-on roof with walls that extend up a few feet above the roof for privacy.  This probably wouldn't be a core feature of the house, but maybe the house is constructed to allow this to be easily added later.