Interior Space Award of Excellence: Jumeirah Nanjing Hotel & International Youth Cultural Centre, Nanjing

Shao-Wei Huang
Senior Associate
Zaha Hadid Architects, London

Vertical Transportation: The Past 50 and Next 50 Years of Development

No building over 200 meters’ height has been voluntarily demolished. The 270 Park Avenue building in New York City (1960) will be the first such building to receive this fate, to make way for an even higher tower for its owner, J.P. Morgan Chase. Most of the 1,450-plus buildings over 200 meters that were built by the end of 2018 were expected to stand for at least 100 years.

With such a lifespan, the building will undergo several renovations, where all technical equipment will be refurbished multiple times. The purpose may also totally change over time. Elevator equipment with a typical lifespan of approximately 15 years will be replaced at least five times. Though it is hard to precisely predict the evolution of technology, one thing is sure: the technology needs to be more future-proof for each refurbishment.

This presentation explains the evolution of vertical transportation equipment over the past 50 years, the expected way forward for the next 50 years, and how these new advances will enable the future needs and demands of the 200 meter-plus buildings.

We are already acquainted with the push-button and destination control systems, single- and double-deck applications, separately moving TWIN elevators; and now, we are at the brink of ropeless elevators moving not only vertically but also horizontally. This presentation further explains the developments to expect in the future, and how these new demands will further change the vertical transportation world, allowing faster, more ecological construction with more freedom, adaptability and flexibility.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center