A stair is one step in a flight of stairs. Also called a stairstep. In buildings, stairs is a term applied to a complete flight of steps between two floors. A stair flight is a run of stairs or steps between floors. A staircase or stairway is one or more flights of stairs leading from one floor to another, and includes landings, newel posts, handrails, balustrades and additional parts. A stairwell is a compartment extending vertically through a building in which stairs are placed. A stair hall is the stairs, landings, hallways, or other portions of the public hall through which it is necessary to pass when going from the entrance floor to the other floors of a building. Box stairs are stairs built between walls, usually with no support except the wall strings. Stairs may be in a straight run, leading from one floor to another without a turn or change in direction. Stairs may change direction, commonly by two straight flights connected at a 90 degree angle landing. Stairs may also return onto themselves with 180 degree angle landings at each end of straight flights forming a vertical stairway commonly used in multistory and highrise buildings. Many variations of geometrical stairs may be formed of circular, elliptical and irregular constructions. Stairs may be a required component of egress from structures and buildings. Stairs are also provided for convenience to access floors, roofs, levels and walking surfaces not accessible by other means. Stairs may also be a fanciful physical construct such as the stairs that go nowhere located at the Winchester Mystery House. Stairs are also a subject used in art to represent real or imaginary places built around impossible objects using geometric distortion, as in the work of artist M. C. Escher. “Stairway” is also a common metaphor for achievement or loss of a position in the society; or as a metaphor of hierarchy (e.g. Jacob’s Ladder, The Battleship Potemkin).

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