We were approached by Como part of the Mace Group as they were undertaking major refurbishment of Cat A offices at 24 Chiswell Street in Central London. The whole ground floor was being lowered by 970mm to the street level outside the building. This would make the building accessible from the street however it would in turn create accessibility issues further into the building. The specific challenge of this project was that there was very little space to create an accessible route to these offices. There was no room for a conventional disabled platform lift let alone a ramp. The only space available for a lift would fit was the existing stairwell which leads to one of ground floor offices.
We installed a specialist platform lift that takes the appearance of a set of steps. As you can see in the below photos the whole stairwell descends flat with the lower floor level. The user then gets onto the lift and ascends to the upper level. The metal barrier then lowers into the system and the user can travel off of the lift. The specialist platform lift is equipped with key fob radio controls so that the lift can be operated by a member of staff at the front desk or the user themselves. When not in use the lift is a symmetrical copy of the stairwell opposite complete with the same tiles as the rest of the building’s entrance.
This specialist platform lift is a great alternative when space is at a premium and for existing stairwells where designers and contractors are finding it difficult to make space. The lift’s steps can be finished with existing materials such as the tiles used in this project. The lift at 24 Chiswell Street blends into its surroundings seamlessly and without previous knowledge it is difficult to realise the lift is there.
Location: Central London
Year Completed: 2016