What is the word for the building where the stairs are located stairwell or staircase or stairway? Is that in the image stairwell or staircase or stairway?

enter image description here


A stairwell is a shaft that contains, or has been built to contain, a staircase. The image shows a staircase and its bannister, but part of the stairwell is visible as well (the tiled wall).

| improve this answer | |
  • It's a balustrade not a bannister – Stevetech Jan 14 '16 at 21:08
  • 3
    @Stevetech, it's generally a bannister in the US. – Karen Jan 14 '16 at 21:17
  • 1
    Note that not every staircase need be located inside a stairwell. A single flight of stairs such as may be found in a 2-story house, for example, is not. A stairwell is typically separated from the rest of the building (e.g. by doors on each landing). They are often not heated/air conditioned. They generally run from the bottom to top of a building or section of building, spanning more than 2 floors. (Taller skyscrapers may not have a single stairwell all the way up, depending on design.) – Darrel Hoffman Jan 14 '16 at 21:22
  • 3
    @Stevetech In my experience growing in the UK, banister was the more correct term. According to wikipedia, balustrade is a more general term to mean any kind of railing. When specifically applied to stairs, banister appears to be the more correct term. – Digital Trauma Jan 14 '16 at 22:24
  • 1
    Also staircases on the outside of buildings (eg fire stairs) don't have a stairwell – piers7 Jan 15 '16 at 7:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.