Without elevators, the world would really need a lift. For example, John McClane from Die Hard would have had a harder time taking down terrorists. But above all—without elevators, it doesn’t seem like there would be any high rises, and without those, there’d be a lot fewer of us all. So what’s the past of these traveling cabins? What does their future look like? And where can elevators move you faster than the local speed limit?
Elevators are the blood-vessels of modern office buildings. They are becoming ever more important as buildings are getting higher and higher. The number of buildings over 200 meters has tripled since 2000. But elevators do not have to be some tin containers suspended on ropes and hidden somewhere in a building. The lobby of the Radisson Blue Hotel in Berlin has a 25-metre-high AquaDom, the world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium. Inside you can find a 2-storied glass elevator, more than 1,500 tropical fish and 1 million liters of salt water.
This summer, the German elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp introduced MULTI, a revolutionary elevator prototype that goes not only up and down but also sideways. This makes it possible for several elevators to move in one elevator shaft at the same time. The very first MULTI will be installed in Berlin by 2020.