The new lift technology that will let cities soar far higher

David Rodrigo @david__rWhen Frank Lloyd Wright sketched out his Mile High Skyscraper in 1956, it was four times taller than the Empire State Building, the tallest building at the time. Such was Wright’s faith in the technologies of modernity – foremost among them, steel frame construction and elevators – that he naturally presumed the challenges of this extreme height could be overcome.

Almost 60 years of failure later, Wright’s dream looks finally to be realised – almost. Plans for the Kingdom Tower, a mile-high skyscraper in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, were recently scaled back to a mere 1km due to “unsuitable geology”. Nevertheless, today’s construction technology and engineering are edging ever higher, enabling a new generation of so-called “super-tall” skyscrapers. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest, stands at an impressive 829m.

Burj khalifa sunset

But what of the lifts? Halfway up the Shard, London’s tallest skyscraper, you are asked to step out of the elevator in order to switch to another. This is called the transfer floor or “sky lobby”, a necessary inconvenience in order to reach the upper half of the building, and a symptom of the limits of elevators today. It can also be seen as evidence of the centuries-old arms race between architecture and technology.

What do you think about the lift technologies today? More and more people install stairlifts in their homes these days and even more are installing actual lifts, are we going up, are we going ahead ?
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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