The Edificio Castelar – popularly known as the Edificio Vitalicio, after the bank which established its headquarters on the same site in the 19th century – is one of the most stately and emblematic buildings in the city of Santander, on the north coast of Spain.
A prestigious office building, constructed in the sixties and located in West End London, required a refurbishment which was to include triplex control lifts, one of them being an adjacent entrance fire fighting lift.
It feels like we're breaking new ground with every new project that we take on,' says one of the team working in IMEM's large-lift manufacturing shop, pointing over his shoulder at the enormous lift system taking shape behind him. Just over the last four months, the team that he is a part of has built over twenty different lift systems, all of them well above standard size. The lift car and frame which they have almost finished assembling will soon be delivered and installed in one of London's best-known buildings
Spain’s new Centro Botin art centre designed by Renzo Piano opens Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new building’s lifts have been fully designed, manufactured and installed by IMEM Lifts Spain's most important private cultural foundation opened its doors in Santander on Friday 23 June with a solemn ceremony attended, among many other personalities, by the Spanish Royals . The Centro Botín, an arts centre designed by Pritzker Prize-winner architect Renzo Piano located in the Bay of Santander (Spain). The brand new building by Piano uses a broader urban intervention to integrate the city centre and the historic Pereda Gardens with the Bay. Covered in thousands of light-diffusing ceramic tiles, the building has a total built-up area spanning 8,739 m², which is made up of two blocks, connected by a structure of squares and the walkways known as – “the pachinko”. The west block is dedicated to art, with two exhibition rooms measuring a total of 2,500 m2; and the east block is for cultural and educational activities, boasting an auditorium for 300 people, classrooms, work spaces, and a rooftop terrace to enjoy the breathtaking views of Santander and its Bay. To preserve views of the waterfront, Piano has raised the building on four-metre pillars level with the tree trunks in the surrounding Pereda Gardens. By re-routing a main road through an underground tunnel, the project has doubled the green space to almost ten acres. IMEM Lifts was the company in charge of the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of the lifts installed in the new Botin Centre. The main lift, whose fundamental task will be to transport passengers and artworks, is installed close to the new building’s main entrance. It is a machine-roomless lift with a 6500Kg/86-passenger load capacity, which will serve four floors with a travel distance of 20.3 metres at a speed of 1 metre/second. The glass lift car has a height of 5 metres and the car and landing doors are of stainless steel and centre-opening with four panels of 3600x4000mm (width x height). Given their unusual size, both the car and the car doors are fully bespoke. Other component parts of the doors and door entrances, such as the stainless steel door sills, were also specially manufactured for the project. "It was the first time we built a lift with a cabin of such a height" - acknowledges IMEM Lifts General Director Antonio Pérez - "but I would venture to think that there is no other similar lift car in Europe." The unusual and striking proportions of the lift were not, however, the biggest technological challenge that IMEM Lifts had to take to give life to the lifts that Renzo Piano's studio demanded for his project. "Our main competitor for this project, a well-known elevation multinational, presented a solution that involved the construction of a machine room for the lift, which meant a considerable sacrifice of space" - says IMEM Lifts Marketing Director. "We decided take more risks, introducing a design without machine room, which is almost uncommon of in such large lifts" - he adds. The other lift systems installed in the building include a machine-roomless lift, capable of carrying loads of up to 2000Kg at a speed of 1 metre/second and two dumb waiters fitted to serve the centre’s restaurant-created by two-Michelin star chef Jesús Sánchez.
From 1 September 2017, all new lifts that are installed must to be designed to suit the requirements of the new harmonised standards EN81-20 and EN81-50.
Options to install a lift when space is limited In this current day and age there are still many buildings that do not have a lift. Most are of an age that no consideration for installing a lift was ever studied by the original architect, for this reason a lack of space can be a real handicap. In many cases this shortage of space leads owners to believe that there is just no physical way of installing a lift; however, there are various options available: Modifying the existing stairwell: sometimes cutting back part of the existing stairwell to gain space for a lift shaft may be the most suitable route forward, thus allowing for a lift that serves each landing. In the building´s courtyard: many existing buildings have an interior courtyard which is usually an ideal alternative for the installation of a lift. In these scenarios, the lift can be installed inside its own pre-fabricated lift structure or within a purpose built lift shaft to suit the individual requirements of each group of homeowners. Building facade: installing a lift or lifts to the exterior facade of a building is another interesting alternative. As with the previous scenario, the lift could be installed inside its own pre-fabricated lift structure or within a purpose built lift shaft. Local planning permission should be requested prior to commencing these works. Other alternatives: There are also scenarios where building owners are willing (or required) to give up space to make room for a new lift installation. Re-designing the layout of a building can bring widespread solutions for a new lift however extensive building works would be required. At IMEM Lifts we have a proven track record in the design and manufacture of lifts within existing buildings as well as reduced size lift shafts. We develop and manufacture lifts in our own production facilities to the exact detail of each existing lift shaft or overall footprint available: we design our products around the smallest of spaces thanks to our extensive in-house engineering capabilities, allowing us to offer the largest lift car possible. Our lifts are always designed to suit the particular project in question be it a hydraulic, MRL, electric traction (with a machine room above, below or on the side of the shaft) or even a drum drive to offer the most rewarding outcome. The end result of our continued dedication are lifting solutions that: Maximise the given space. Intelligently overcome the structural limitations of a building. Fulfil the technical, practical and aesthetical expectations of our clients and their consultants. Cater for the project budget and delivery timeframe.
A perfect fit for UK lift professionals
IMEM Lifts is one of Europe’s leading lift manufacturers with a well-established reputation for quality and reliability. We occupy a particularly competitive position in the lift market as we are one of the few fully independent lift companies on the entire continent able to design and build an almost limitless range of lifts and components – including lifts with or without a machine room in a wide range of sizes and configurations, hydraulic lifts, goods lifts, home lifts, lifts made to measure to satisfy a client’s special requirements – and more.
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