Handi-Lift, Inc. devised several unique solutions and designed custom parts for the vertical platform list at the Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in Manhattan, New York. The architect did not want the standard enclosure, but there was not enough room beneath the lift for a wall to rise as the lift did.
Handi-Lift designed a special roll-up door to rise out of the floor to safely cover the lift equipment. The heavy marble, glass and bronze lift also required Handi-Lift to work with the other trades to fashion proper structural supports.
This custom lift looks like it belongs in the Newhouse Theater, and was constructed by Handi-Lift to satisfy safety codes and the architect’s aesthetic desires.
This application called for a custom vertical platform lift with a floor-to-floor travel distance of 6'0". The architect did not want to install a traditional enclosure, since the lift was adjacent to a staircase, and they did not want the lower landing side of the enclosure taller than the intermediate landing of the stair.
This low-profile application lends itself to a toe guard type of enclosure with a platform gate to meet platform lift code. The architect also rejected the concept of a double gate at the lower landing, which is typical of toe guard installations.
To address this design requirement, it was concluded that a fascia wall would be pulled up out of a pit to form the protection of the underside of the platform required by a toe guard enclosure. Unfortunately, there was insufficient room under the lift to pull up a rigid fascia attached to the bottom of the platform. There was only 2'7" to work with for 6'0" of travel. In addition, the architect wanted at least 24" of the skirt under the car to be rigid, so the wall next to the lift could be capped at 4'1" with travertine.
After many attempts at a telescoping skirt, a roll-up door was used, thus enabling the architect to maintain the aesthetic design and satisfy safety code. The roll-up gate was designed and built by Enterprise Elevator Products Inc. The segments of the roll-up door had to be laminated with aluminum panels so that, in the extended position, the joints were minimized. It was extremely difficult to calculate the tolerances involved, and it took several attempts to install the tracks correctly. These had to be set into a rough pit condition before the finish travertine was installed, and we could not be off more than a fraction of an inch.
In order to accommodate the stone floor, glass and brass car sides and gate, National Wheel-O-Vator provided a custom heavy sling, platform and tower to minimize deflection. This also had to be installed before finishes. A structural wall was needed behind the tower due to the extra loads of the heavy unit, which actually sat on a shelf six inches below projected lower landing finishes.
The fixed portion of the skirt has a removable panel on the front that is clipped in place, so there are no fasteners visible. Behind the panel is a hole in the skit to allow mechanics to remove the spring loaded bolts that support the roll-up door to lower it into the pit. This allows the mechanic to crawl under the lift for service when necessary. Also, for serviceability, we brought all the electrical connections to the top of the tower behind a removable flush panel. This also allowed for the travertine to be installed up both sides of the tower.
Elevator Accessories fabricated the car sides and car gate. The handrail, car stations, gate closer and offset pivot were all custom design. the car sides sat on top of solid 1" x 3-1/4" steel bars with a bronze bar and channel to support the false. The top rail is removable by a clever attachment method designed to minimize fastener visibility, so that the glass could be installed in the channel (or replaced if broken).
The upper gate was designed to match the wrought-iron railing but had to be fitted with safety glass on the inside as required by code. This was done by Ment Brothers, who also did the railing work.
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