Challenge• To create a visually-arresting scenic passenger elevator experience following design specifi cations and zoning restrictions
Solution• Collapsible, invisible maintenance balustrade fi tted to the top of the elevator cars• Close cooperation with client and architects ensured seamless project management
Walbrook building• Completed: 2010• Size: 76,000 sqm• Architect: Norman Foster• Contractor: SKANSKA
KONE Solutions• 10 KONE MiniSpace™ scenic passenger elevators• 4 KONE MonoSpace® elevators• 2 KONE TranSys™ elevators• 1 vehicle hydraulic elevator• KONE Care™ maintenance service
A statement rising in central London
Enter the Walbrook, whose lobby more readily calls to mind an art gallery than an office entrance, and KONE’s customised elevators are the first things that capture the eye. Arranged in L-shape at the core of the building, KONE designed, constructed, installed and implemented 10 KONE MiniSpace™ scenic elevators featuring floor-to-ceiling glass that allows for direct viewing of the elevators’ complex mechanisms. And each glazed, LED-illuminated car features reflective ceilings that provide the sensation of infinite empty space above.
The need to innovateThe fast-paced Walbrook project was a first for KONE, taking two years to complete and involving a series of on-the-go decisions and design solutions. The developer and architects conceived of and installed thousands of square meters of glass panels in the elevator lobbies, in addition to twelve floors of aluminum glazing and cladding inside the shafts. And thousands of unique LED narrow spectrum lights were integrated into the curved glass walls of the elevators.
Despite the architects’ vision calling for reduction in elevator speeds by some 50 percent in order to provide passengers a prolonged view of the illuminated elevators ascending and descending the scale of the building, KONE’s solution enables the Walbrook to easily cope with projected public traffic.
Due to zoning restrictions on the building’s height – it lies very near to St. Paul’s Cathedral – KONE designed a special collapsible maintenance balustrade fitted to the top of each elevator car that would remain concealed during normal use. Furthermore, KONE specially manufactured the installation tooling locally in order to install the cars safely and without any damage. Due to the already outstanding efficiency of KONE equipment, there were no major energy-specific challenges to overcome during design and implementation.
Lessons learned and resultsThe Walbrook project reiterated the need for quality control of suppliers’ material, and of the importance of client management and architects’ involvement. Despite the challenges involved, KONE hit all major project milestones and deadlines, and both architects and client have again expressed continued interest in working with KONE on future projects.
What is People Flow®?
People Flow means people moving smoothly, safely, comfortably, and without waiting in and between buildings.
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