the vertical shaft or opening containing a stairway.
Also, stair well.

1915–20; stair + well2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stairwell (ˈstɛəˌwɛl)
a vertical shaft or opening that contains a staircase

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
Here's the tricky part: people enter the stairwell at every minute multiple of
  the level they enter.
Also caught on a camera pointed vertically up through the stairwell.
Cigarette butts litter the dim stairwell, and the rickety elevator takes
  fifteen seconds too long for comfort.
He had live microphones in the hallway and stairwell.
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