The compact stairs in the NestHouse were really inspired by my aversion to the impractical nature (IMHO!) of most TH ladders and strongly reference marine practices of tight companionways and hatches where grab handles provide the security of connection that we need. So I have used stainless steel boat handles at two strategic points which facilitate both going up as well as descending. Now I am a slim 135 pounds, but I have had 230 pound visitors negotiate the NestHouse stairs without problems! It’s tight and you have to watch your head under the rafter tie – but this was all trialled as a prototype – so it was worth the experimentation!
Most people love the stairs and it has to be pointed out that they bring the double advantage of a huge storage area underneath them. As well as various hatches and cubby holes, I designed three wheeled storage pods which nest into the space perfectly. In the prototype, two of these are actual items of furniture – a bureau and a bookcase, while the third is a longer term storage bin at the very rear of the space.