The AQ staircase is situated in the north-eastern part of the Bourbon palace; on the ground floor towards the north, it is introduced by a door behind the colonnade. It gives access, on the first floor, via the semi-circular eastern vestibule, to the public tribunes of the hemicycle.
This staircase was built in the remaining space between the facade of the old Bourbon palace and the facade designed by Bernard Poyet in 1805 which is aligned differently. The suspended newel staircase has 36 oak steps most of which carry the stonework supporting the balustrade.
The project has two objectives: to restore the staircase and to ensure it complies with recent security norms. Particular attention was paid to the preservation of pre-existing, historic elements. The staircase, which had been closed for security reasons because of an important slant, was straightened again, step after step, without being dismantled, thus preserving all the original dispositions.
To ensure the staircase met with new security norms, a fire and smoke prevention system was integrated as well as new metal banisters where the gap was too important between the original ones.