Most free-spirited architectural and interior designers dread the confines of code, dictating that they must put this here or that there for safety reasons. Railings are not, however, the only way to keep someone safe on a staircase. This creative solution for loft stairs takes personal security as well as aesthetics, space and style into account, bending the rules (literally, using flexible mesh) in a way that won’t break the occupant’s bones.

A1Architects had to work within the confines of an old attic in Prague, its sloped roof constraining the second-floor footprint of this remodeled top-floor apartment.

Letting light in and views down from this guest loft level was a key goal, accomplished with a combination of skylights and see-through, ultra-slim, fence-like steel to prevent falls without significant visual obstruction.

Meanwhile, wall-side shelving hugging the ceiling and hidden in-stair spaces  along the way up provided maximum storage in this otherwise small-space residence – also reinforcing the space-opening curves found throughout.

None of this is meant to suggest the rest of the loft is anything short of lovely, but this critical design move informs the rest – a combination of light-painted (white) and reflective (steel) surfaces combined with leftover (bugs and) features from the previous configuration.

About A1 Architects

“The uniqueness of our lives is shaped by seemingly insignificant details. In our work, we look for the magic of these little things in the ordinary things around us that inspire us… The first independent projects of members of the a1architects studio date back to 2003. In 2005, the a1architects studio and creative workshop began to form in Prague, the core of which consists of Lenka Křemenová and David Maštálka, originally classmates from the A1 studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. The studio includes architects Tereza Schneiderová and Zuzana Sagitariová and architect Philip Mountain.”