High-tech lifts installed in historic building


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.

Designed by the local architect Gregorio Bringas, the Vitalicio Building was built in 1919 in the classical Spanish style of the period and is anchored at its corner by a semi-circular tower which looks out over the harbour of Puertochico and the Bay of Santander.


In 2016, the building changed hands, and the new owner decided to carry out a complete renovation of the interior without damaging its original features, a project which included the installation of brand-new lifts designed to operate within the existing lift shafts and service its seven stories of offices and private residences. The new lift system had to be technologically at the cutting edge while at the same time fitting in perfectly with the elegant classical style of the building – and IMEM Lifts was chosen to take on the design, manufacture and installation of the two lifts required.

IMEM Lifts has many years’ experience of doing precisely that in a wide range of historical and listed buildings all over the world. These have either never had lifts installed in the first place or had antiquated lift systems which needed to be replaced. In both cases, it is always vital to optimise the use of space and install efficient modern systems which take full account of the particular architectural and decorative characteristics of the building in question.

After a comprehensive study of our client’s requirements, of the shaft spaces available in the Vitalicio Building and of their placement and dimensions, IMEM proposed the installation of two machine-roomless lifts from our Silens-Pro range:

  • The first lift is a machine-roomless Silens-Pro Top in a 1860x1250mm shaft, with a 450Kg rated load, a speed of 1 metre/second and a lift car measuring 1200x1020mm .
  • The second lift is a machine-roomless Silens-Pro Compact in a 1430x1870mm shaft, with a 450Kg rated load, a speed of 1 metre/second and a lift car measuring 960x1600mm.

The two lifts are equipped with luxurious Model 710 lift cars, with granite floors and finished in oak framed in stainless steel. The 800mm-wide car and landing doors have a stainless steel finish.

These new Silens-Pro lifts bring to this historic building all the advantages produced by IMEM’s international experience in this field, our innovative technological development and our much-vaunted efficiency and attention to detail.