The Centro Botín

The Centro Botín is a major new visual arts center located in Santander, and commissioned and funded by the Botín Foundation, a philanthropic institution that was founded in Spain in 1964.

The building and its surroundings, right in the heart of the city and projecting out over the Bay of Santander, were designed by the world-famous architect, Renzo Piano. Not only does the Centro Botín offer the people of Santander and the entire region of Cantabria a wonderful gateway to the arts, but it has already become a powerful cultural magnet and an irresistable attraction in a breathtaking seaside setting for anyone visiting the city.

The challenge: to design a world-beating lift system

Renzo Piano’s studio, the building’s owners and the construction company gave us the challenging task of designing lifts with unique specifications and cutting-edge technology, especially the main lift that is possibly the largest panoramic one in Europe.

  • The custom-designed lifts stand out for their originality and, with their high load capacity and unique dimensions, they dazzle visitors every day – and are also used to transport works of art, both large and small.
  • The finishes are exclusive to this building and were selected by Renzo Piano’s studio and approved by the project manager.
  • All the components were designed and made to measure. These lifts are truly unique, and there is nothing standard about them.
  • For this project we developed specially enhanced safety measures to ensure the well-being of the passengers and the works of art transported in the lift cars.
  • Our engineers dedicated hundreds of working hours to the design and development of the lifts for this emblematic project.

The largest panoramic lift in Europe

  • The main elevator, whose primary function is to transport both passengers and works of art, is located along the central vertical axis of the building.
  • It is a machine-roomless lift with a 6500Kg/86-passenger load capacity which serves four floors and travels a distance of 20.3 metres at a speed of 1 metre/second.
  • Its glazed lift car is 5 metres tall. It is, in other words, spectacularly unique at a global level.
  • Its stainless-steel centre-opening 4-panel doors have a height of 4 metres. Given its unusual size, of course, the car, the doors and their components all had to be custom-designed and built.
  • The car ceiling has a textured finish that was specially created to reflect the design of the art centre’s ceiling. The car flooring has the same finish as the wooden flooring throughout the building, and was manufactured to allow the handling of the heavy works of art that the lift was designed to carry.
  • The lift shaft is designed to include venting to the outside, so as to control and maintain the required temperature difference between the shaft and the building’s interior. The landing doors are completely smokeproof and, when closed, totally prevent air flow between the shaft and the inside of the building. The car is equipped with thermal glass and has its own air-conditioning system.
  • The shaft pit has one particularly unusual feature: it is located below sea level. In the event of water leakage, a water-detection device activates bilge pumps to remove water while the car is held between floors.
  • The lift is equipped with the most up-to-date safety features available, such as an automatic system that holds the car at floor level during loading. The doors have electronic safety barriers through their full height to ensure the damage-free loading and unloading of particularly large works of art.

Car: 5m tall

6500 Kg · 86 people

Speed: 1m/s

The secondary lift systems

  • The Centre is equipped with a secondary lift system, our machine-roomless Silens Pro Mega model. It is capable of transporting loads of up to 2000Kg at a speed of 1 metre/second, and is equipped with a car that, just like the 6500Kg lift, was custom-made to complement the design of the building by Renzo Piano. The doors of this second lift are completely weatherproof, given that they open out directly onto the building’s exterior
  • We also installed a special lift for people with reduced mobility to ensure their easy access to all parts of the building.
  • Finally, to round things off, there are two service lifts that are used by the Centre’s restaurant, which is under the command of Jesús Sánchez, the chef who in 2020 was recently awarded his third Michelin star.