Urban Outfitters opened a new space in Williamsburg Brooklyn this year called Space Ninety 8. This new mega store includes a roof top restaurant. To create the new concept store they gutted an old industrial building and used salvaged materials and a lot of blackened steel for a very unique look.
The 5 story structure is served by a commercial elevator but on the third floor there is one area with a half flight of stairs down and a half flight of stairs up to a mezzanine from the third floor elevator lobby requiring a vertical platform (wheelchair) lift to provide accessibility to those two split levels.
The area chosen for the lift required a basket of steel be created to suspend the lift runway over a space open to the second floor retail space below. That steel super structure was used to support the lift. The lift has it’s own enclosure in order to meet elevator safety codes so the lift and it’s enclosure frames had to be lowered into the steel basket and assembled in place.
The lift is a three stop - three opening configuration. The entrances are angle iron framed plywood with a clear coat finish. The pulls are rustic barn hardware from Rusticahardware.com. The closers are Dorma BTS 75 floor closers with offset pivots so the doors can close flush to the finished inside surface of the runway.
The drive system is a Garaventa Genesis roller chain hydraulic unit.
The frames of the entire enclosure are blackened steel. The infill panels are a combination of wire mesh and laminated glass. The glass is needed on the inside of the mesh panels so there are no pinch points or shear hazards as there are no platform side barriers on the three entrance sides of the lift platform.
Besides a tough time line the challenge on this project was creating a design for the enclosure that could be field installed in a few days toward the end of the project. We created a frame design that bolted together at the corners and could be erected in the shop to test the closers, pivots, interlocks, glass and wire mesh attachment method and make sure that everything worked. This entire system had to be independent of the steel superstructure which supports it and the finished floor to floor dimensions had to be exact as there was no adjustment possible in the field.
Once testing was complete, we then disassembled the entire system and transported it to the site. We were fortunate one of the front window assemblies was not completed allowing us to boom the frames into a third floor window near to the lift. Wrestling the four large enclosure frames into the steel “basket” took 7 men all day and most of the night but we got it done in one very long day.
The doors proved to be a challenge due to warping of the wood. We learned that gluing only exacerbates the problem. We had to make several purchases of plywood before we found sheets that were dry on both sides and not warped then we bolted them into the angle iron frames with dark colored binding posts. The doors also had to be powered to meet ANSI A117.1 as this lift was three stops with three openings. Powering half height doors is always a challenge. We used Door Motion Technologies power door operator which mounts vertically on the hinge post for the upper gate. The full height doors could accommodate typical horizontal operators mounted on the head jamb.
Once we were done Remco applied a blackening agent on the entire assembly to give the hot rolled steel a consistent appearance and clear up any weld marks or rust spots.
The finished product provides access to the lower third floor and the third floor mezzanine in style. That is what we can Accessibility with Dignity.
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ArchitectDavid A. Levy and Associates 345 Springside Drive Akron, Ohio 44333 330-666-6767
General ContractorBlue Rock Construction, Inc. 1275 Glenlivet Drive, Suite 330 Allentown, PA 18106 610-481-9119
Steel Superstructure:Johnston Products of Dallas 604 Jealouse Way Cedar Hill, Texas 75104 469-272-7212
Steel Lift Enclosure Frames:Pabst Enterprises/Equipment Co., Inc. 676 Pennsylvania Avenue Elizabeth, NJ 07201 908-353-2880
Lift InstallationHandi-Lift, Inc. 730 Garden Street Carlstadt, NJ 07072 201-933-0111
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