Gracefully ascending through the center of a row home in downtown Chicago, this Savaria Vuelift transforms the elevator into an architectural element that integrates seamlessly with the overall design. From floors to skylights, glass is a key feature of this residence, and the clear acrylic hoistway and cab of the Vuelift enhance and complement these elements.
The challenge: add an elevator to a narrow home without compromising the open concept
The architect and builder behind this project faced a situation being encountered with increasing frequency in urban centers: how to maximize the living space of a small-footprint home. This usually means building on multiple levels, which makes a home elevator an extremely desirable feature – particularly as people look to ‘age in place’.
For this project, with a lot width of just 25 feet and inside working width of approximately 23 feet, space was at an absolute premium. In order to make the elevator accessible to all areas of the home – and all levels – the hoistway needed to be centrally located. A traditional elevator installation would have taken up a lot of space and been a visual barrier, destroying the open-concept plan. The Savaria Vuelift was the ideal solution.
This project was recipient of Elevator World’s project of the year, and is a fine example of how accessibility and convenience can be integral to a home without compromising the vision of the architect, designer and home owner. This installation features a Vuelift octagonal acrylic model with both through-the-floor and balcony attachment configurations, three stops and a total travel of approximately 22.5 feet.
Designed for flexibility
The Vuelift product design provides freedom of placement within the home without concern for the structural integrity of older construction, enabling builders to maintain an open concept. The stand-alone hoistway has a minimal footprint while maximizing cab area, and transfers the load to the bottom floor where a pit of only four inches is required.
Installation in this narrow home was eased thanks to the unique simplicity of the Vuelift design. Components each weigh less than 100 lb and fit easily through standard door openings, down narrow hallways, and up stairwells with no special lifting equipment required. The elevator was simply assembled in place.
The one-of-a-kind effect of the finished project is truly befitting this luxury residence, but was achieved without the complexity and cost of customization. The Vuelift solution was the perfect complement to this modern home.
- Developer: MOD Construction
- Architect: IPSA Architecture and Design
- Installer: Nationwide Lifts of Illinois
- Structural engineer: K. Eng Structural Consulting