A Most “Fundamental” Elevator on Display in Venice

Chilean miner elevator

Acclaimed architect Rem Koolhaas gives elevators and escalators their due as part of his Venice, Italy exhibition, Fundamentals: the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, open to the public through November 23. It features such architectural elements as door handles and exposed machinery in a hanging, domed ceiling. Along with elevators and escalators, these are elements Koolhaas believes should become an integral part of architectural thinking. And some of them play a literally vital role, such as the missile-shaped elevator shown here. One of three designed by the Chilean Army and the U.S. space agency NASA, the capsules were used to rescue 33 trapped miners during the 2010 Copiapo, Chile, mining accident.


National Talk In An Elevator Day

Today, Friday, July 25, 2014 is National Talk in an Elevator Day!  So what exactly does this important day really mean?According to www.daysoftheyear.com: “there’s something unnerving about standing silently in a crowded elevator (or a lift)… It’s a brave person who breaks the uncomfortable silence – so Talk in an Elevator Day is dedicated to plucking up our courage and making polite small take whilst riding the lift!”.  So, if you happen to be in elevator today, strike up a conversation with your fellow riders.  After all, it is Friday.

If you need a little help in starting small talk, read this article titled “Three Tips for Engaging Elevator Conversations” or check out the video below:

And, dont do this:


Supertalls Promise to Redefine Midtown NYC Skyline

From left to right, 432 Park, 111 W. 57th, 53 W. 53rd, One57, 225 W. 57th, and 220 CPS. Image by illustrator Armand Boudreaux, New York YIMBY.

From left to right, 432 Park, 111 W. 57th, 53 W. 53rd, One57, 225 W. 57th, and 220 CPS. Image by illustrator Armand Boudreaux, New York YIMBY.

The excellent newsletter New York YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) newsletter recently provided renderings showing how an array of supertall skyscrapers under construction promises to redefine the Midtown New York City (NYC) skyline, hearkening to 1920s Manhattan, which had a varied skyline full of character. The mostly residential, luxury buildings will, YIMBY says, “showcase New York’s continued dominance as the pre-eminent global city.” They stand approximately 800 ft. above street level.


History of the World’s Tallest Skyscrapers

Skyscraper-History-ChartHigh Rise Facilities magazine recently took a look back at over 100 years of skyscraper history and the towers that have so far been entitled to proclaim “World’s Tallest Building”. Two pioneering inventions from the second half of the 19th century, steel-frame construction and the elevator, paved the way for the construction of the world’s first skyscraper. The combination of the two was first used in 1908 in the 187-meter-tall Singer Building in New York.



This was just the beginning of a world ever reaching to build higher and higher.  It was just recently announced that China will be building the world’s tallest buildings that will also clean the air.  The pink Phoenix skyscrapers (the color was chosen to reflect China’s sunsets) were designed by the British architect firm Chetwoods, according to CNN. The largest tower will stand 172 meters, beating Dubai’s Burj Khalifa for the name of the world’s tallest building.  


Click here for the full story and photos of the history of the world tallest buildings.



Photos of the Week

In case you were not aware, there is an actual competition called the World Interior of the Year Awards.  The submissions come from unique and stunning interiors ranging from an underground cavern to luxurious hotels, restaurants and shopping malls.  The judges have narrowed down the finalists of which you can find here.  Two of the finalists caught my eye because they involved vertical transportation.  You can find them both below.


Although hundreds of people pass through the room everyday, the famous Escalator Hall in the Harrods department store in London still has an usual charm – dominated as it by a huge yellow chandelier that is meant to represent the sun.


The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide is packed with glass and steel, and beautiful elevators.

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide is packed with glass and steel, and beautiful elevators.


Stuck In The Shaft!



An overweight thief in southwest China got stuck in an elevator shaft for eight hours after he tried to make his escape.  The crook, Yi Fu, attempted to rob residents of an apartment building but was eventually chased off.  The 226-pound thief actually eluded them by climbing into an out-of-service elevator shaft.  Unfortunately for Fu, he was a bit too big to get through a tiny opening that lead to the roof.  None of the residents heard his cries for help until the next morning when firefighters spent an hour trying to free him.  There’s something you don’t see everyday!    

You can read the full story here.  


We think we found the issue with the “up” escalator!


Earlier this month, an “up” escalator at a shopping complex in central Florida malfunctioned. When maintenance crews came to diagnose the problem, they found this little guy inside the stairs. The story has a happy ending: Animal control trapped him several days later and he was returned to the woods, and the escalator is back up and running. For more information about how raccoons are learning how to navigate urban areas, check out this PBS documentary, Raccoon Nation.



Soccer Fan Records Elevator Ride With The Argentina World Cup Team

Ok, so you’re in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and you’re dying to catch a glimpse of the soccer stars.  Where is the best place to be to catch a glimpse of your favorite team?  The elevator, of course!  That’s just where one lucky fan got an up close and personal encounter with the Argentina World Cup team and Lionel Messi.  And, lucky for us, he videotaped it. 

Have you ever been in an elevator with a celebrity?  If so, let us know by posting a comment.  


Photo of the Week

Gearless Armature being rewound
First place winner in the 2014 Elevator World Photo Contest
Machines & Components Category
Submitted by Renown Electric Motors & Repair, Inc.  

The photo shows a gearless armature from elevator hoist motor being rewound.  To view all of the winning photos click here.

Thanks to everyone who participated!