Why paint half of a stairwell?

28Apr11

I live in a tall building, and with lots of floors comes lots of stairs. Granted, I don’t use the stairs for regular trips to the ground floor. Instead, they’re strictly for short hops or exercise purposes.

During a recent trip through the stairwell, a rather mundane visual element caught my attention. While some of the stairwell walls are painted, the rest are bare concrete. And this approach is consistent throughout every floor.

Maybe the designers were going for a gritty look. Or perhaps the original painting work went over budget. No matter the rationale, the end result looks unfinished, and certainly costs more to maintain than bare concrete.

Just like with any other room, it looks weird to only paint half of a stairwell. It’s obviously too late to undo the paint choices in my building, but I’m certainly curious whether other venues have made the same choice when outfitting their own stairwell areas.



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