When it comes to innovations in staircases, we've seen ones that disappear (like this one and that one) but more often, it's staircases doing double-duty as storage (like this and that) that tend to get the most blog ink. And it's no wonder; stairs are handy places to stack things.
This South Korean house by architect Moon Hoon is the first new construction we've seen in which the staircase is specifically intended to do triple-duty: It's a means of ascending & descending, it's a storage unit, and it's furniture.
"The basic request of upper and lower spatial organization and the shape of the site prompted a long and thing house with fluctuating facade which would allow for more differentiated [views]," writes Moon. "The key was coming up with a multi-functional space which is a large staircase, bookshelves, casual reading space, home cinema, slide...."
I'm digging the projection screen TV and the use of the stairs as bleachers for viewing. That's one way to make sure your kids don't sit too close to the TV.
Speaking of child-related issues, I know what a lot of you U.S.-based parents are thinking: You'd probably never want something like this in your house, as you think it's too dangerous for your kids to navigate.
I see that latter concern as a cultural difference, as a lot of non-American countries I've visited do not have the occasionally overblown emphasis on safety that we have here in the 'States. We Americans ourselves did not have a lot of these constraints when I grew up, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing—my brother and I learned lasting lessons about safety by slamming into and falling off of things. (Then again, perhaps all of that head trauma explains why we both suck at math and have conclusively proved that violin lessons were a waste of money.)
While Moon's website won't allow us to link directly to the project, you can view it by hitting up his site, clicking "project" and then locating the "Panorama House" on the map.