The Vessel: Elevating Art & Technology
March 15, 2019
The Most Interesting Elevator in the World
NEW YORK, NY, March 15, 2019 —One of the most ambitious property developments in decades came to fruition this spring in the heart of New York City when Related Companies opened phase one of their much anticipated Hudson Yards. The ultra-modern neighborhood includes an 88 story residential tower, 73 story mixed use property, over 1 million square foot luxury retail center and 14 acres of landscaped public space surrounding Manhattan’s newest ‘must see’ attraction, The Vessel.
The Vessel is the extraordinary centerpiece of Hudson Yards that was designed by London’s Heatherwick Studios as an interactive artwork to be experienced through its multitude of perspectives outwardly & within. The Vessel is a geometric latticework of copper-colored steel and concrete comprised of 154 interconnecting stairways, 80 landings and nearly 2500 stairs. Climbing the 7 stories may prove difficult for many visitors, so Related Companies and Heatherwick Studios reached out to Liberty Elevator Corporation to install and maintain an elevator that seamlessly fits within the open structure’s artistic aesthetic while complying with New York’s strict ADA requirements.
Liberty Elevator Corporation worked with Cimolai of Italy to create a custom elevator ‘shaft’ to fit along the contours of the structure with an oval, glass elevator cab that offers 360* views and universal access from its base to the landing at the pinnacle of the 150-foot Vessel. The elevator provides a smooth, quiet ride with extraordinary views of the Vessel’s interior.
Liberty Elevator Corporation was challenged with integrating the elevator within the Vessel’s open air structure without compromising the structures artistic integrity, virtually hiding it in plain sight. The Vessel structure rises from a base that is 50 feet across with 5 openings and widens to 150 feet at the top creating a unique challenge when designing an elevator ‘shaft’ along a nonlinear path that has multiple pitch angles yet still makes contact at all 8 floors of varying depths.
Once the shaft was designed, a custom drive system was implemented to account for the undulating curvature of the track while allowing a leveling of the cab floor at each of the eight landings.
Being outdoors and totally exposed to the full myriad of a New York City weather creates challenges of epic proportions. From humid sea air coming off the Atlantic Ocean in the summers to heavy Nor’easter snow storms in the winter, the Vessel elevator needs to be as resilient and reliable as the city itself for the thousands of guests visiting each day.
Cutting Edge Technology
With Liberty Elevator’s network of partners, they created a one-of-a-kind lift system that utilizes an array of new technologies. The custom, oval glass cab is wireless utilizing an electrical Busbar system. The wireless controls remotely located, transmitted via Wi-Fi from the elevator room to the cab regulating and tracking all movements without traditional cables.
The cab is fully inclusive of all controls, motors and utilities. In order to permit visitors to observe the extraordinary views within the Vessel, the elevators’ mechanics—including the heating and cooling elements—are hidden within the floor.
The Rack N Pinion design allows for precise positioning and pivot of the integrated motor body independent of the cab platform, undulating as it elevates along the multi pitched track while keeping the cab level throughout travel.
- Installer – Liberty Elevator Corporation – http://www.libertyelevator.com
- Designer/Architect - Heatherwick Studios - http://www.heatherwick.com
- Owner/Developer - Related Companies - https://www.related.com
- Owner/Developer - Oxford Properties - https://www.oxfordproperties.com
- Fabricator - Cimolai - https://www.cimolai.com
- General Contractor – Tishman Construction Corporation - https://www.tishman.com
- Consultant- Jenkins & Huntington, Inc. - http://www.jenkinshuntington.com
- Height- 139’-0”
- Speed- Up to 100 FPM
- Motor- 4 x 20 HP Dana Brevini Gear Motors
- Materials – Rack and Pinion Elevating System with Leveling Platform System
- Openings- 4 Openings
- Controllers – Cimolai Technology with Siemens PLC Control Box
Liberty in the News
This is not Liberty Elevator's first involvement with New York City landmarks. In 1986, Liberty was selected for the historic renovation of our nation’s most precious symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty. In 2011, Liberty Elevators installed three new elevators in Lady Liberty as well as performed safety renovations to the island after Hurricane Sandy. In 2019, Liberty Elevator Corporation returned yet again to where it all began for another epic installation at the new Liberty Island Museum.
About Liberty Elevator Corporation
Established in 1960, Liberty Elevator is one of the largest independently owned and operated elevator companies in the Northeast. Specializing in new, custom installations, preventative maintenance programs, modernization, and cab refurbishments. Liberty Elevator Corporation has provided vertical transportation to a variety of Fortune 500 customers throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Winners of Elevator Worlds’ first Ellie for Best Family-Owned Business in 2018 Liberty Elevator has built their reputation for excellence through three generations of the Muttart family, upholding ongoing relationships with building owners, property managers and developers.