Dual Drive

Dual Machine Arrangement Enables Innovative Cabin Design

Heatherwick Studio’s design of circular passenger lifts for a new museum to be located in Cape Town, South Africa represented a major design challenge.

The proposed highly bespoke traction passenger elevators incorporated a free standing central structural column up which the “doughnut” shaped cars would travel and be guided.

The central structural column would also house the counterweight and counterweight guides on the inside surface of the column and the car guides located on the outside of the column.

In order to solve the whole problem of a lift drive which would simultaneously lift the circular cabins on both sides of the centralised circular column and connect to the counterweight located within the column an innovative solution was assembled.

The proposed drive arrangement incorporated a machine room and pulley room located above the lift shafts and each lift would be driven by a novel machine incorporating a single motor driving twin back to back gearboxes each with drive sheaves. This enormously simplified the roping arrangements and by taking two standard winding units of opposite hand a manufacturer was able to confirm the machine could be assembled, tested and delivered.