The Vuelift Octagonal, installed in a terraced home in downtown Chicago, elegantly ascends through the centre of the open plan layout. The lift blends seamlessly with the design, becoming an architectural element in its own right. Glass elements are key to providing a more open and light-filled feeling for this smaller property, so the crystal-clear cabin and shaft of the Vuelift complement the aesthetic beautifully.
The brief: add a residential lift to a narrow property while maintaining the open plan layout
The architect and builder working on this property faced an increasingly common design challenge in urban locations: maximising the living space in a smaller home. Usually this requires clever use of multiple levels, meaning that a home lift becomes a sought-after feature, particularly as people prepare their home for ‘ageing in place’.
With a total width of less than 8 metres, space was at an absolute premium for this building project. To ensure the lift was accessible to all areas and from all floors of the property, the lift needed to be located centrally in the layout. A traditional home lift would have been a visual barrier, breaking up the otherwise clear and open concept of the designs. The Vuelift, on the other hand, provided the ideal solution.
As a prime example of how a residential lift can provide accessibility and convenience with no compromise to the aesthetic vision of the designers, this installation was named Elevator World’s project of the year. The Vuelift featured is the Octagonal acrylic model, using both through the floor and balcony attachment configurations, stopping on three levels, and spanning a total travel distance of around 6.8 metres.
The freedom to place the Vuelift in any area of the home without concern for the structural integrity of older properties means builders can incorporate a personal house lift without compromising an open plan design. The free-standing lift shaft has a minimal footprint area while maximising cabin space, and transfers the weight directly to the ground floor, requiring a pit only 10cm deep.
Thanks to the Vuelift’s uniquely simple design, installation in this narrow property was easy. Each component weighs less than 45kg and easily fits through standard doorways, through narrow halls, and up staircases without the need for specialist equipment. The lift was simply assembled within the property.
The unique effect of including a Vuelift in the finished project provides a real benefit for this luxury property, but without the complexity of installing a custom lift. The Vuelift solution was a perfect finishing touch to this contemporary home.
- Developer: MOD Construction
- Architect: IPSA Architecture and Design
- Installer: Nationwide Lifts of Illinois
- Structural engineer: K. Eng Structural Consulting