Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum is a museum located in Holland Park in West London. The building was constructed for Frederic Leighton to serve as a private home combined with an art studio. Frederic Leighton was one of the founding members of the Holland Park Circle, a group of artists that were prominent in the mid-late 19th century. The construction of the site took 30 years with continuous development from the original studio. The building is Grade II* listed and is made out of red Suffolk bricks and its distinguished finishes continue with the internal design taking influence from the East Mediterranean and Near East. The museum has been open to the public since 1929 displaying pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood paintings as part of their permanent collection. 

The site was awarded £1.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the £7.8m refurbishment. BDP, the appointed architectural practice, looked to rediscover original architectural elements throughout the museum whilst providing new exhibition spaces and making the museum accessible for all. Access Lifts previously worked with BDP on the £24m refurbishment of the National Army Museum. The same project architect got in touch with Access Lifts in 2016/17 to go through first and second stage design aspects in order to create step free access routes throughout the project. 

Access Lifts designed 3 solutions for the museum and were awarded the lifts package by main contractor Quinn London. The lifts package consisted of 1x passenger lift, 1x open platform lift and 1x hidden platform lift. All of the lifts were to feature bespoke bronze finishes to match designs accents throughout the museum. 

The passenger lift features bronze landing doors with a brushed stainless steel lift car with mirrors on 3 sides. The lift also features drape protection to protect the lift car finishes when artwork is moved throughout the museum. The open platform lift is finished with the same bronze colour and features a side acting drive mechanism as to not disturb the existing floor of the Grade II* listed building. The hidden platform lift provides access between two split levels. The lift features wooden flooring which matches the rest of the basement flooring and a frameless glass upper landing gate. The gate is finished with the same bronze colour found through the museum. 

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2022

To see projects similar to Leighton House Museum click on the following links:

National Army Museum | Lincoln Cathedral | St Mary’s Guildhall | Ridley Hall, Cambridge | The Newt in Somerset | York Theatre Royal

Passenger lift with bronze automatic doors at Leighton House Museum in Holland Park
Bronze platform lift at Leighton House Museum
Hidden lift in the basement of Leighton House Museum
Hidden platform lift with frames glass upper landing gate
The open platform lift colour matches steelwork found around the museum
The hidden platform lift is finished with the same wooden flooring as the rest of the basement
The open platform lift is pitiless and has a small automatic ramp instead
Open platform lift at Leighton House Museum
Internal lift car of the passenger lift at Leighton House Museum

St Mary’s Guildhall

St Mary's Guildhall is a medieval building that dates back to 14th Century and is situated in the centre of Coventry. The building is located opposite the old Cathedral and has played a prominent role throughout Coventry's history. The Grade I listed building last had a major refurbishment in the 1930s with smaller scale adaptations made in recent years. Oliver Architecture based in Birmingham led the design with Croft Building Contractors carrying out the major works. Both companies work extensively in the heritage buildings and conservation sector with projects across the West Midlands as well as nationwide. As part of the refurbishment Oliver Architecture were looking at including a discreet hidden platform lift to overcome a short rise as well as an enclosed platform lift to offer step free access to the first floor. 

We offer a wide range of hidden lift options that can be tailored to site requirements. We can also change the location of the platform whether its on the upper landing, part of the steps or on the lower landing. Our bespoke hidden wheelchair lifts can be used for rises up to 1500mm. For St Mary's Guildhall, we designed a standard 1100mm x 1400mm platform with two moving steps for the 420mm change in height. The lift requires a 600mm pit below the finished floor level and can be clad in any material most commonly stone up to 30mm thickness with a total load of 100kg across the platform. In this instance Yorkstone was used to match the surrounding flooring which provides a seamless finish. Due to the flexibility of the finish our hidden lifts are perfect for heritage and listed buildings where traditional platform lifts would look out of sorts.

The lift also features stainless steel roll off protection to the lower landing side.  The lift is finished with an on platform control column and remote control key fobs for use by members of staff when events are taking place at the Guildhall. 

The package also included an enclosed platform lift that offers step free access from the ground floor to the first floor. The lift features its own self-supporting shaft with a half height upper landing gate on the first floor. The lift shaft, platform and all cladding panels when finished in RAL 9005 - Jet Black to match the interior design accents through the building. 

As part of the works, Access Lifts were also awarded the enclosed platform lift providing access from the ground floor level to the Undercroft. 

Location: Coventry

Status: Ongoing

Year Completed: 2022

To see projects similar to St Mary's Guildhall click on the following links:

Il Borro Tuscan Bistro | 200 Grays Inn Road | Lincoln Cathedral | Broadwalk House | Sissinghurst Castle Garden |  24 Chiswell Street

Hidden Step Lift at St Mary's Guildhall in Coventry in the down position
The hidden lift at St Mary's Guildhall in travel
Hidden lift at St Mary's Guildhall in the up position
The hidden platform lift at St Mary's Guildhall, the lift offers step free access for wheelchair users
The hidden lift is finished with York stone to match its surroundings
When not in use the hidden lift is simply a set of steps
The hidden platform lift features a 100mm high stainless steel roll off protection

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

External Platform Lifts at Ridley Hall, Cambridge

We were approached by Cocksedge Building Contractors who were carrying out the refurbishment works at Ridley Hall in Cambridge. The works included excavation and creation of a new library in a sub level as well as layout changes to access routes surrounding the external quadrangle. As part of the works, the project required two external platform lifts, one offering access to an existing part of the  building then the other offering access into the newly excavated basement for access to the library. Ridley Hall is a theological college in the heart of Cambridge which trains men and women who intend on becoming ordained in the Church of England. Founded in 1881 the college teaches evangelical theology and offers training courses to those already ordained. Even though the college is not part of the University of Cambridge it shares close links with the university and offers some qualifications from the university. 

The first lift provides step free access into part of the existing building. The lift has a 1100mm travel across the two floors and features automatic gates on both the platform and upper landing. The lift was finished in black in order to match the steel railings and building accents. The lift also features call and send wireless controls on both landings to make the lift quick and easy to use. 

The second lift provides access to the newly excavated basement with an overall travel of nearly 3 metres. Like the first lift it features automatic gates on both the platform and upper landing. It also features wireless call and send buttons on each landing with all aspects of the lift powder coated in black to match the other steelwork around the college. At the request of the lift consultant we also installed a glass screen due to the tightness of the space to prevent accidental entry underneath the lift. Another request was a combined light and audible alarm to alert those moving around the location of the lift that the lift is descending. The colour of both lifts contrasts the orange brickwork and sandstone capping stones to produce an eye-catching finish. 

To see projects similar to Ridley Hall, Cambridge click on the following links:

Location: Cambridge

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2022

An external platform lift providing step free access at Ridley Hall in Cambridge
The external platform lifts at Ridley Hall are powder-coated in RAL 9005 to match the surrounding railings
One of the lifts has a lifting height of nearly 3 metres
Platform Lift at Cambridge University College
The lifts feature automatic gates to make the lifts easy to use
One of the lifts offers access to the basement library

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Lincoln Cathedral

We were approached by Simpson & Brown who were appointed principal designers for the refurbishment and construction of brand new facilities at Lincoln Cathedral. Lincoln Cathedral, consecrated in 1092, is located in the very heart of Lincoln and was once the tallest building in the world till its central spire collapsed in 1548. The Cathedral had recently won £16m in Heritage Lottery Fund to create the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project. This project would include a complete modernisation and refurbishment of parts of the cathedral with the introduction of a brand new education centre, café, shop and community spaces. Due to the nature of the building, level access was not possible across all of these additions therefore a variety of lifts were needed to make the site fully accessible. William Birch Construction were appointed Principal Contractor and we worked with them to deliver this lift package. 

The first lift is a hidden traversing lift in the main reception area, the lift raises 350mm and traverses 480mm to meet the top step. This hidden lift features 100mm high roll off protection so that the user remains on the platform and finishes flush with the floor. It can be finished in any flooring up to a depth of 22mm which makes the platform run seamlessly into the rest of the floor. The lift is finished with remote controls so that a member of staff can raise the lift when a visitor needs to use it. The pit requirement for this lift is only 155mm.

The second lift is a cabin lift with fully automatic sliding doors, the same as a traditional passenger lift. The major difference between this lift and a passenger lift is that the pit and headroom requirement is considerably reduced. A passenger lift would require over a metre pit and 3400mm headroom whilst this lift requires only 130mm pit and 2150mm headroom. Due to the historic and archaeological nature of the site all 4 lift options were chosen with the shallowest pit depth possible. This lift provides access across two floors of the newly constructed education centre. 

The third lift is an outdoor platform lift that allows access to the courtyard area with a travel of 700mm and is finished with the same wooden decking as the upper level and adjacent stairwell. The lift is made out of hot-dipped galvanised steel which is then powder-coated to provide a finish that will last over time. This means that the less maintenance costs are greatly reduced and the courtyard is accessible for longer. 

The fourth lift provides access to the exhibition area of the centre and only needs a pit of 65mm. The lift has a modern look with reduced steel framework and large glass panels which match the contemporary aesthetic within the exhibition centre. We colour matched the adjacent stairwell so that the lift was finished in the same shade of black. 

Location: Lincolnshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2020

To see projects similar to Lincoln Cathedral click on the following links:

British Library | York Theatre Royal | Dancing Man Brewery | National Army Museum | Meriden Hall | Sissinghurst Castle Garden | 200 Grays Inn Road

Traversing lift at Lincoln Cathedral
Hidden lift raising at Lincoln Cathedral
The traversing lift at Lincoln Cathedral has fully extended to meet the top step
A side on view of the hidden step lift at Lincoln Cathedral
The lift features automatic sliding doors like a traditional passenger lift but only requires 150mm pit and 2150mm headroom
The upper landing of the passenger lift in Lincoln Cathedral
The cabin lift at Lincoln Cathedral
On the ground lift the lift's lentrance is finished with an elaborate architrave
The lift features LED spotlights as well as a half height mirror and handrail to the rear of the cabin
The outdoor platform lift provides access to the courtyard area of Lincoln Cathedral
Internal platform lift at Lincoln Cathedral
External platform lift at Lincoln Cathedral

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

The Newt in Somerset

Hadspen House was built in the late 17th century and is situated in East Somerset. The Grade II* listed building has undergone many transformations in its time and now the main house as well as the surrounding outbuildings and lodges have been renovated into a luxury country hotel. The Newt in Somerset boasts 35 rooms from converted stable blocks to a loft in the main house. In addition to the rooms, there are a number of other attractions on the estate. The spa is located a short walk up the driveway from the main house. It features various treatment rooms, a pool and even a mud chamber. The restaurant, attached to the main house, features a complete sloped glass ceiling combining the original Georgian house with state of the art modern style. It serves food from their kitchen garden which you can see while enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner. They even produce venison from the estate's deer park, making sure as much produce as possible is gathered from the local area. The estate also features 3000 strong apple tree orchards with its very own cider press where guests can see the whole process from pressing the apples to enjoying the cider. 

The client needed two lifts for The Newt in Somerset, the first a goods lift which would be used to ferry items from the kitchen on the ground floor up into the rest of the hotel as well as take deliveries. This one tonne goods lift was finished with brushed stainless steel walls and ceilings to match the kitchen surfaces. The second, an antique passenger lift that would provide access for guests across the 3 floors of the hotel. The client had a very specific vision having purchased the stripped down panelling of a 19th century mahogany lift from an antique shop. They wanted a lift that would be befitting of the hotel and vice versa. Our task was to use as much of the original materials as possible whilst adapting the panelling into a completely new lift layout. The antique panelling was then fitted onto a modern hydraulic lift. We even managed to keep the original operating instructions, original brass push buttons, original green leather seat and the 19th century brass R. Waygood & Co sign. 

Below are a number of photos of the antique passenger lift at The Newt in Somerset.

Location: Somerset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2019

To see projects similar to The Newt in Somerset as well as other projects in listed buildings click on the following links:

British Library | York Theatre Royal | Dancing Man Brewery | National Theatre | Meriden Hall | Sissinghurst Castle Garden | Hotel du Vin Poole

The driveway leading up to the main house at The Newt in Somerset
The main house at The Newt in Somerset
Interior of the antique lift in The Newt in Somerset
The antique passenger lift on the first floor of the The Newt in Somerset

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

R. Waygood & Co brass threshold plate
Mirrored light-box in the antique passenger lift
Instructions for operating the lift

Hidden Traversing Lift at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

We were approached by a representative of the National Trust as they were looking for a way for less-able visitors to access the lower level of the shop at Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Sissinghurst Castle Garden was bought by the writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson in 1930, with various buildings around the site dating back to the 1530s. Sackville-West and Nicolson restored many of the buildings and designed the layout and style of the now famous gardens. It is one of the National Trust's most visited sites and one of the world's most well known gardens. Due to their cultural significance and high quality the gardens are Grade I listed along with the main Sissinghurst Castle building.

The site of the lift is in the modern day shop which used to be the Old Piggery attached to the granary. The particular challenges of creating disabled access in the shop were that a ramp would have to be over 4.5 metres long plus a 1.5 metre clear space at the bottom of the ramp in order to accommodate the difference between floor levels. This wasn't feasible as the total width of the lower floor was under 4 metres. A traditional platform lift would take up at least 1400mm x 1100mm of retail space and then a 900mm door on both levels would impact the retail space even further. This would have disrupted both the till area and lower level of the shop. Even though it was feasible the disruption and the space that the lift would take up would damage the retail space for the shop.

The best solution was to have a hidden platform lift by the steps in the middle of the shop that wouldn't need any gates. The lift would provide the necessary disabled access but when not in use it would be completely flat matching the surrounding quarry tile floor. The way the lift recedes into the ground allows users to get onto the lift from both sides of the shop and allows the shop staff to have a seasonal table close to the lift as seen in the photos below. When not in use the lift can be walked on and becomes part of the floor.

To see more examples hidden lifts like the one at Sissinghurst Castle Garden click on the following links:

200 Grays Inn Road | Devonshire Club | Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art | 24 Chiswell Street | Venture House 

To see more examples of our work in listed buildings click on the following links:

British Library | York Theatre Royal | Dancing Man Brewery | National Theatre | Hotel du Vin Poole

Location: Kent

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2019

Hidden lift in the National Trust shop at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65, email us or click here to be taken to our hidden lifts page

Hotel du Vin Poole

Hotel du Vin is a boutique hotel chain with 19 locations covering England and Scotland. As the title suggests the chain was founded with wine at the heart of its business. Hotel du Vin Poole is situated in Poole Old Town tucked away from the quay opposite St James' Church. The original building dates back to 1776 as the Mansion House, Hotel du Vin have then refurbished the site retaining many of the original features. The front entrance of the property is raised from street level and then once inside the property the property is split. The reception is on the upper ground level whilst the restaurant, bar and wine tasting area is on the lower ground floor. Both of these levels are separated via stone staircases therefore having a complete access route at the front of the building would prove difficult and costly. In addition any modifications to the front of the building would also have to meet the requirements of Historic England as the building is Grade II* listed. 

The solution to creating the best possible access route into the building for disabled guests was to use the street level to the side of the building. This then leads into the side of restaurant. From the restaurant, disabled guests can access both the bar and outdoor seating area. The platform of the lift measures 1100mm x 1400mm with a rated load of 300kg. This means that it can take even the heaviest of electric buggies. The lift in the restaurant allows guests to access all of what Hotel du Vin Poole has to offer. In addition the hotel has accessible rooms behind the restaurant at street level.

Location: Dorset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2013

To see similar projects to Hotel du Vin Poole click on the following links:

Wagamama Wigmore Street | Sissinghurst Castle GardenCheltenham Racecourse | Devonshire Club | Audi NorthamptonBaltic Centre.

Lift at the Hotel du Vin Poole
Disabled Access Lift at the Hotel du Vin Poole
Hotel du Vin Poole - Lift in Restaurant
Lift in the restaurant at Hotel du Vin Poole
Platform Lift at the Hotel du Vin Poole

For more information about lifts like the ones featured above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

York Theatre Royal

We were approached by the architect, De Matos Ryan, who were designing the refurbishment of the Grade II listed York Theatre Royal. A grand building that is the centre of York's arts scene. The theatre is located in the centre of York in the shadow of the minster. The £6 million refurbishment included completely redesigning the social spaces outside of the main theatre buildings. Within these works, the client needed two lifts, a main lift to access the four floors of the building as well as a platform lift to link the main lobby area with the café. We worked with the principal contractor, William Birch & Sons, to deliver this project. We are currently working with William Birch & Sons to deliver 4 different lifts at Lincoln Cathedral whilst we have worked with De Matos Ryan at the British Library and in the refurbishment of private homes in some of London and the South East's premium locations. 

Due to the nature of the building there were certain limitations with regards to the design of the lift. There were a number of stone features that could not be touched or changed.  The redesign of the theatre meant that there were a number of balconies and mezzanine floors with 4 different floor levels across around 5 metres of travel. The lift itself has 3 different access points so that all of these mezzanine levels could be accessed. The lift was finished in glass and brushed stainless steel to add a modern contrast to the more traditional limestone features surrounding it. The prominence of glass on the lift allows light to flood down the shaft into what is a fairly dark area which has little natural light sources. All the doors of the lift were automatic two-panel glass doors with brushed stainless steel frames. This compliments the modern aesthetic of the lift and allows the easiest and quickest access for all users. The lift is compliant with Part M with a 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep cabin and a horizontal control panel making it easier to use for wheelchair users. 

The second lift is an open platform lift which links the main lobby area to the newly refurbished café adjacent to the main spiral staircase. The lift is finished with glass panels within a black steel frame, this gives a modern sleek appearance with simple constant pressure controls. 

Location: Yorkshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2016

To see projects similar to the lifts at the York Theatre Royal clicking on the following links:

British Library | Meriden HallNational Army Museum | Venture House | Baltic Mill | The Swan at Streatley | Wagamama Wigmore Street

The entrance at York Theatre Royal
The main lift at York Theatre Royal
Outside façade of the York Theatre Royal
Main lift in the lobby at York Theatre Royal
Inner lobby area of the York Theatre Royal
Third floor of the main lift at York Theatre Royal
Internal cabin of the glass lift at York Theatre Royal
Glass and stainless steel lift in the York Theatre Royal
Upper landing of the platform lift at York Theatre Royal
Platform lift linking the lobby with the main cafe
Open platform lift providing access to the main cafe at York Theatre Royal

For more information about lifts like the ones above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Platform Lifts at the National Army Museum

We were approached by BDP, the architecture firm responsible for the £23.75 million redevelopment of the National Army Museum in London. They were looking to fit platform lifts within the museum so visitors would be able to access every part of the museum and make full use of the new services. The refurbishment completely modernised the museum and they wanted  a trio of platform lifts that would match the new look of the museum. The locations that they needed to fit platform lifts were from the main reception to the education centre, to the Discover More gallery and for staff from outside the building to access the lower basement entrance.  

We designed and installed a platform lift between the main reception and education centre. This lift is mainly used for groups and school pupils who visit the museum and use the education centre. The education centre is a great tool where large groups can learn about British history from the Civil War up to the present day conflicts. The lift was finished in stainless steel with glass panels to match the newly refurbished modern look of the building and the travel distance was 1.8 metres.

We fitted and installed a platform lift for access to the Discover More gallery, it was also finished in stainless steel and glass to suit the new aesthetics of the building. The cabin length of 1650mm allows both a large wheelchair or mobility scoot and carer to easily and safely use the lift. The platform lift travels just 980mm but can hold a load of up to 300kg.

The third lift we designed and installed was for staff access from outside the building to the lower basement floor. The outdoor platform lift was finished in RAL 7016 painted steel with a travel distance of 1180mm. The platform lift that the client wanted was a cost effective product that would withstand any adverse weather conditions that could be thrown at it. The lift would provide disabled access for staff and workers at the National Army Museum.

All three lifts were fitted within 2 weeks and were ready for the National Army Museum's Grand Opening in March 2017.

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2017

To see projects similar to the National Army Museum click on the following links:

200 Gray's Inn Road | Brunel House | Seven Dials Warehouse | Venture House | Southwark Council | 24 Chiswell Street | Elm Yard

Disabled Wheelchair Lift in the National Army Museum
Disabled Access Lift in the National Army Museum
Outside Disabled Access Lift for Museum
Outdoor Wheelchair Lift at the National Army Museum
External Platform Lift for Museums
Wheelchair Platform Lift in the National Army Museum
Disabled Platform Lift in Museums

For more information about lifts like the ones above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Inclined Platform Lift in Grade II Listed Waterworks

We were approached by Blackbottle Ltd, a building contractor, as they were looking to install a number of lifts at a site in Hampton. Blackbottle is responsible for the renovation and refurbishment of a Grade II listed Victorian waterworks located on the banks of the River Thames in Hampton. They are in the process of building several scientific research laboratories as well as premium office space for small, scientific-based businesses within the waterworks. The first lift that Blackbottle were looking to install was an inclined platform lift in the "Boilerhouse." We are specialists in the installation of inclined platform lifts in listed buildings and have fitted a number around the country therefore we know that getting the right product and style is paramount.

We designed and installed an inclined platform lift with a platform measuring 800m x 1200mm and a load capacity of 300kg with the lift travelling 1500mm up 5 steps. The large platform space allows for both electric-powered wheelchairs as well as smaller manual wheelchairs for visitors and workers of the businesses within the building. 

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2018

To see projects similar to Morelands Riverdale click on the following links:

National Army Museum | 200 Gray's Inn Road | Brunel House | Seven Dials Warehouse | Venture House | Southwark Council | 24 Chiswell Street | Elm Yard

Inclined Platform Lift in the Boilerhouse at Morelands Riverdale
Wheelchair Platform Lift for Blackbottle Ltd
Inclined Platform Lift in Grade II Listed Waterworks
Inclined Platform Lift in Grade II Listed Office Building
Inclined Platform Lifts in Commercial Buildings

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us