Initially published on Lifo (August 31,2017).
[Image by Sissy Nikolaidi, via Stairgraph]
The most beautiful staircases of Athens (and not only Athens)
What is it that makes stairways so appealing? Or rather, to put it more correctly, what is it that attracts us so in photographs of stairways? I really wonder as I am staring at the tens of pictures from interior stairways in Greece and elsewhere, posted in the newly created Facebook Page entitled Stairgraph. The creator of the page is Nik Levantis, a young man who lives and works in Athens, in the fields of communication and marketing. “I spend many hours online, as do we all, maybe a bit more because of my job, and also I must confess that I have an obsession with photography and architecture. Stairgraph was created in a single afternoon. I had just seen the picture of a stairwell and I thought that it would be worth creating a collection, since there are countless stairwells and each one is architecturally unique and also because they are interesting from a photographer’s point of view! I immediately thought of two or three friends who had also taken similar photographs in the past and I asked them to upload them on the page, as a first sample. Since then, I must say I was impressed with the great response. I hadn’t even imagined that more users would be found who would want to send their own pictures. But it seems that there are many distinctive stairways in our town, and also around the world, and many people (professional photographers or not) which they want to immortalize and share!»
Stairways have always been art, being symbols of joining and transition, but in the real world too their architecture is often memorable. An impressive stairway can transform even the most average building. “The first thing that comes to mind when I think of stairs is the word «action». Either climbing up or climbing down, when you use them you always move, stairs are a place in which a lot of energy is consumed! They also make up quite a distinctive architectural element; there’s a great variety since you can easily imbue them with the cultural element of an area or an era. Lastly, I must mention the eye of the photographers themselves, since that is what will characterize the esthetic result, perhaps making the stairway more beautiful than it really is.”
But in the end, what is it that makes stairways so appealing? “Lighting will always make the difference, and stairways have the capacity, by their design, to create unique lighting conditions. But this interview gave me occasion to think a bit more on this whole undertaking and I will answer a bit more philosophically. So I think that the very existence of a stairway posits the existence of another level and so a stair for us will always be a passage to a direction in which our destination lies”.
[Translated in English by Chris Litharis for the purposes of this website]
Visit Stairgraph on Facebook.
[Image by Marianna Lourba, via Stairgraph]