At Apex, we have an appreciation for all types of lifts – traction, hydraulic, double-decker, climbing – to name a few. However when it comes to design, we confess to having favourites. We’ve created a list of our top 5 lifts from around the world, ranging from the wacky to jaw-dropping and reveal the new heights that can be reached with a little outside the box thinking!
5. BAILONG ELEVATOR: ZHANGJIAJIE, CHINA
Climbing into our Top 5 is the Bailong Elevator lift in China. The clue is in the name; the Bailong Elevator is thought to be the tallest outdoor lift in the world and in its native Chinese, translates into “Hundred Dragons Elevator”. The combination of colossal height, rustic aesthetic and breath-taking views are made ever more impressive by its integration into the side of a steep cliff face overlooking Zhangjiajie’s quartzite sandstone pillars, some of which can reach heights of 8om.
Opened in 2002, the Falkirk Wheel lays its claim to fame as being the only rotating boat lift in the world. Built to connect the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, ten hydraulic motors turn the wheel at one-eighth revolution per minute, ensuring a complete spin is achieved within just 8 minutes! As it spins, the water filled gondolas that the boats are housed in will rotate at the same speed but in the opposite direction and thus, the boats are kept level as they traverse from one canal to the next.
Take your trip to Scotland to the next level by taking a cruise along the canals. Boats depart every hour, with over 4.4 million people already having gone for a quick spin!
3. SKYVIEW: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
Opened in February 2010 and located in Sweden’s capital Stockholm, Skyview’s two elevator cars are fastened onto the exterior of the Ericsson Globe. The ‘Globen’ is the largest hemispherical building in the world, and the lifts have been designed to complement its curved structure. With a capacity of 16 passengers per pod, the two spherical gondolas travel along inclined parallel tracks to reach the globe’s summit 130m above sea-level. Once at the top, visitors are treated to an unobstructed 360-degree panoramic view of the historic city of Stockholm.
2. RISING TIDE: MS OASIS OF THE SEAS CRUISE SHIP
One of the world’s largest cruise ships, the MS Oasis of the Seas (1,186ft long), is home to what claims to be the only lift-and-cocktail-bar combination sailing across all seven seas. With a capacity of 35, the trip from the Central Park deck to the Royal Promenade takes 8 minutes – plenty of time in which to enjoy a tipple (or three) as it travels serenely through the atriums of the cruise liner.
1. AQUA DOME: BERLIN-BITTEN, GERMANY
Topping our list of the coolest lifts around the globe is the Aqua Dome, in Berlin-Bitten. Located inside the Radisson Blu Hotel, the Aqua Dome is the world’s largest acrylic cylindrical aquarium in the world and towers an impressive 25m above the ground. Home to over 1,500 fish from 50 different species, visitors are surrounded by just shy of 1 million litres of water (984, 207litres) as they moveup and down through the aquarium’s centre in a transparent lift.
Have you seen an awe-inspiring lift which hasn’t made our top five? Let us know via our social media – we are on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.