The Benefits of a Glass Block Stairwell in Architecture

Using a Glass Block Stairwell in Architecture: We have many popular uses for glass block. People often remember glass block walls, windows, or walkways. One usage for many architectural projects that is often forgot about by the general public is using glass block for the surroundings of stair cases. We’d like to take a moment to address the benefits and provide previous case studies of ours on why they might be a great choice to consider for a building project. Glass block and stairwells go together perfectly, and there’s many reasons why.


The Benefits

Offers the Opportunity to Make the Stairwell a Focal Point of the Design

Glass Block Stairwell in Youngstown

Youngstown Museum

Architect: Meta von Rabenau, AIA

Contractor: Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor

The simplicity of the stairwell provides the opportunity to make the glass block stand out in the design. Much of the building requires taking other things into consideration as inhabitants will spend more time there. In offices and meeting rooms for example, making elaborate designs might be less desirable. Stair cases afford the opportunity to really use creativity, and make the architectural design stand out as something great; even used as the focal point of the building.


Provide Light for Otherwise Dark Areas of a Building


Columbia Waste Water Treatment Plant

When we think of staircases, we often either think of dark gloomy places. The ones that are well lit require lighting from different positions due to the configuration of the stair structure.

Glass block provides natural light that helps visibility, and in return the costs for electricity.


Increases Security

SEPTA Glass Block Stairwell in Philadelphia


The safety of people is always the most important factor of a design. Increased visibility has been shown to reduce the risks of assault tremendously. Glass block provides clarity not just for the individuals that might use the stair cases, but also for witnesses of a potential threatening situation.

It also decreases the chance of tripping and injuring one self. Research studies show that an estimated 12,000 staircase deaths occur each year. Poor lighting is a common source of injuries and fatalities on staircases.

In addition, this can lead to lawsuits disputing who is liable for the stairway accidents. Glass block ends up being to the benefit of all parties involved.



Stair cases have the reputation of being unfashionable. Something that gets tossed to the side when it comes to the design of the building. Something that’s only there because it needs to be so people can reach the main focuses of the building.

They have the opportunity to be so much more. Glass block has proven to be a great source for helping staircases reach their full potential in architectural design.


Contact GBA Architectural Products + Services for Glass Block Staircases

GBA Architectural Products + Services has completed installations for glass block projects all across the United States. The additional perks of including glass block staircases is the flexibility of types and sizes that can be used. We offer a mass selection provided by our proud supplier, Seves Glassblock.

GBA also offers the choice of using Seves Fire-Rated Glass Block, meeting the requirements for zero-lot lines. UL fire ratings of 45, 60, and 90 minutes.

Reach out to GBA Architectural Products + Services for more information on planning for your project.

For questions, contact our experts here at GBA at:

East Coast: (212) 255-5787

Midwest: (877) 280-7700

West Coast: (213) 634-7050

You can also contact us through our CONTACT FORM, and we’ll work out a plan.