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. 

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.

Location: Dorset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2013

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

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

British Library

We were approached by the architect, De Matos Ryan, to measure for a disabled access lift in the British Library in Central London. The British Library is located next to St Pancras Station on Euston Road and contains copies of every book published in the UK as well as being the largest library in the world. The building it is situated in is less than 50 years old however it is a Grade I listed building which can make the construction of a lift very difficult. The client needed disabled access across 3 floors for library visitors as well as private functions that take place on the 2nd floor. The lift’s overall travel would be 5.8m.

The disabled access lift needed to cover 3 floors and have adjacent doors on both 1st and 2nd floors as well as being perfectly aligned between the 2 steel beams supporting the roof. One of the initial challenges we faced was that for a lift of this size, a conventional lift would require a 1500mm pit below the lower floor level, however due to the small distance between the floor level and the ceiling of the floor below the maximum pit we were able to have was 130mm. In addition, a conventional lift would need 3500mm metres above the upper floor level however we had a maximum height of 2350mm as the ceiling could not be taking off or adjusted for the lift.

The lift structure also needed to be able to support two landing balconies weighing 500kg each. We had 2 sets of automatic power car doors adjacent to ground floor entry onto the balconies of 1st and 2nd floors. The architect wanted the to maximise the light that enters the space so chose a white structure with pinned glass on the outside of the structure. The finish makes the most of the light pouring into the building and makes the whole experience of using the lift feel less claustrophobic. The placement and attachment of the glass proved challenging because there were no points that a hoist could fix to therefore the glass was moved and positioned by hand. Even though this took longer than expected the finish of the lift looks great.

The lift now supplies disabled access for library users and is an aesthetically pleasing addition to the Grade I listed building.

Location: Central London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2017

To see similar projects to The British Library click on the following links:

The Wool House | National Theatre | York Theatre Royal | The Base at Greenham | Meriden Hall |  Branksome Park | Powys | Whitecliff | Bosham

Glass Lift at the British Library - First Floor
Glass Lift at the British Library - Ground Floor
3 Floor Glass Lift in the British Library

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

York Theatre Royal

We were approached by the architect, De Matos Ryan, to design 2 lifts with very different applications during the refurbishment of York Theatre Royal. The first lift was to transport customers over 4 floors of the theatre whilst the second lift was to provide access to differing floor levels on the ground floor.

The challenge of the larger of the two lifts was that it had to sit within a stone stairwell as to not to compromise the theatre's Grade II listing. This meant that we had limited space to work with as well as trying to match the aesthetics of the theatre. The lift had to travel over 4m with 4 sets of automatic doors on 3 different sides  because the upper levels  of the theatre had split floor levels. The lift allows all visitors to access every part of the theatre and see the many performances put on. We fitted and installed an EP Elfo with platform dimensions of 1100mm x 1400mm in its own steel and glass structure with the lift car finished in framed glass on 3 sides with the remaining side mirrored.

The theatre needed to provide access for all visitors to the restaurant as the ground floor had a split floor level - the difference was only 980mm so the theatre wouldn't need another passenger lift. We fitted an EasyLift by Liftup, a platform lift that is easy to operate and is really user friendly. The lift was finished in glass with a black steel structure so it would  blend in with the style of the newly refurbished theatre.

To see more examples of our platform lifts and disabled passenger lifts in commercial buildings and theatres, have a look at our National Theatre, British Library, National Army Museum, Venture House and Baltic Mill projects.

Location: Yorkshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2016

Theatre Royal York step lift from above

Step Lift at the York Theatre Royal - Upper Floor

York Theatre Royal Passenger

Passenger Lift at the York Theatre Royal

Theatre Lift

Passenger Lift at the York Theatre Royal with Open Automatic Doors

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

National Theatre

We were approached by the National Theatre as they were undergoing a refurbishment to a large part of the theatre. They needed to provide disabled access throughout the building, unfortunately they couldn't make space for a conventional passenger lift due to the building's Grade II listing. The National Theatre is situated on the Southbank of the Thames and holds a host of productions from Shakespeare to more contemporary plays.

Working with Lendlease, the construction management business, we designed and fitted a lift with automatic doors on adjacent sides. The lift travelled a distance of 12 metres across four floors, with entry points on two of the four sides of the lift shaft. The client had strict criteria that the lift had to meet due to the building's Grade II listing. The ceiling of lift had to be anodised bronze to match the theatre's ceiling that had originally been installed in 1976. In order to match this requirement we used the same anodising company that had originally constructed the theatre's ceiling. We also replicated the handrail from the landings inside the lift car and used the same materials to create a handrail that is identical to those in the theatre. We completed the lift with the same flooring as the rest of the theatre, with the original carpet from 1971 being used in the lift car.  The rest of the lift was finished in stainless steel to contrast the wooden panelling and one of the interior sides was fitted with a complete floor to ceiling mirror.  Even with the high specification of the lift, it was fitted within 4 weeks.

Location: Central London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2013

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

The British Library | The Wool House | York Theatre Royal | The Base at Greenham | Meriden Hall |  Branksome Park | Powys | Whitecliff | Bosham

Disabled access lift at the National Theatre
Passenger Lift Interior at the National Theatre
Lift at the National Theatre

For more information about lifts for theatre and stage call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

The Dancing Man Brewery at the Wool House

The owner of the Grade I listed Dancing Man Brewery & Pub came to us needing a pub lift that fitted the industrial aesthetics of the building and did not compromise the Grade I listing.

The Dancing Man Brewery & Pub is situated in the Wool House, Southampton. The Wool House is a 14th Century, Grade I listed building that has recently been converted into a microbrewery and pub. The owners wanted to make the 1st floor accessible to disabled customers so that they could experience the whole brewery. The main challenge that needed to be overcome was how to design a lift to fit into a 1450mm x 1450mm space that did not compromise the property's Grade I listing.

We came up with a small platform lift within its own lift shaft. In order to meet the client's expectations of an industrial looking pub lift to reflect the building's historic past, we opted for a glass lift shaft with a black structure. This was so that the inner workings of the lift could be seen by the customers to give it a warehouse/industrial charm. The work was completed within 10 days and the lift was ready for the grand opening of the Dancing Man. Our engineers even fitted the client's existing handrails to the lift structure as to maximise the space on the stairway leading to the 1st floor. The client was really impressed with the finished article and said, "we were very pleased with how Access Lifts worked, the guys left the site neat and tidy ready for the grand opening."

To see more of our projects in listed buildings click on the following links: York Theatre Royal, British Library, National Theatre and Inclined Platform Lift in Grade II Listed Waterworks.

Location: Hampshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2015

Outside of the Dancing Man Brewery on Town Quay, Southampton
Lift at the Dancing Man Brewery Southampton
Lift at Dancing Man Brewery in the Wool House Southampton
Ground Floor of the Dancing Man Brewery
Glass Lift Shaft at the Dancing Man Brewery

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

Specialist Step Lift at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

We were approached by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead to design an access solution that would provide both the necessary access for all visitors but also be in keeping with the BALTIC's contemporary design. The client wanted to make the centre more accessible for disabled visitors and so decided to look for various lifting options. The Baltic Mill has an ever changing exhibition schedule and was the first venue outside of London and Liverpool to host the Turner Prize.

In order to create a simple solution that wouldn't disrupt the interior of the building with a more traditional platform lift we designed a small hidden scissor step lift. The step lift would firstly rise above the height of the 3 steps between the galleries then travel across to the upper floor level and then lower slightly to meet the floor level. The total travel for the lift was 560mm up followed by 700mm across, we used the LP50H which has a maximum load of 450kg so can easily take a wheelchair or mobility scooter. The lift was finished with the same hardwood flooring as the gallery and so disappears into the floor when not in use. The lift was installed in a day and was ready to use by mid afternoon the same day. 

To see more of our platform lifts in historic and commercial buildings have a look at our National Army Museum, Gloriana, York Theatre Royal, Venture House and Chiswell Street projects.

Location: Tyne and Wear

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2012

Art gallery step lift

Step Lift at the Baltic Centre with Matching Hardwood Flooring

Step Lift in Art Centre

Baltic Mill Step Lift at Upper Level

Step Lift at Art Gallery

Step Lift at Baltic Mill

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