I’m sure there’s a context where a spiral staircase works beautifully.
I just haven’t seen one lately.
Instead, in the course of showing homes this Spring, I’ve now encountered at least three spiral staircases that all have the same attributes: they’re shoehorned into additions where there wasn’t space for a conventional staircase, and a spiral staircase was the least bad alternative to provide access.
Unfortunately, in each case the spiral staircase was inconsistent architecturally (they don’t exactly go with Colonials, for example), and the diameter was so tight you’d practically have to be a child to comfortably navigate it (I’m 6’3, 220 lbs — bigger than most of my clients — but not all of them).
Whenever I see such a stopgap, I think the owner should have saved even more space — and just put in a fire pole instead (definitely more fun for the kids!).