The design cabin of the innovative MULTI elevator system has won the German Design Award 2018 in the category “Buildings and Elements”. The design award, presented by the German Design Council, is one of the internationally leading awards for groundbreaking design concepts.
The cabin’s design concept had been developed by the Junior Professorship in Industrial Design Engineering at Technische Universität Dresden. The design agency neongrau created the lighting concept and the interface, while the cabin was built by Composyst GmbH. Currently, the transparent lightweight cabin is displayed in the lobby of the thyssenkrupp test tower for highspeed elevators at Rottweil, Germany.
The award underlines thyssenkrupp Elevator’s ambition to match function and form. “The MULTI elevator system does not just move vertically but also horizontally. The revolutionary technology is mirrored by the futuristic cabin design as well as by the truly iconic interface”, the German Design Award team comments.
Revolutionary Technology and Design
With ropeless MULTI, it does not matter whether your journey goes upwards, downwards or sideways. The elevator, currently still being tested, will revolutionize the whole industry. Hence thyssenkrupp Elevator explored new ways regarding the design, too. Talking to prospective customers revealed a strong interest in displaying the installed elevator’s technology to passengers – preferably through a transparent cabin that allows for grand views into the shaft as well as into the entire building when travelling with MULTI.
Dr. Thomas Kuczera, Head of Mechanical Development of the MULTI, says: “Our challenge was to develop a lightweight cabin that was even lighter than the weight-optimized linear motor and one that has a modern and transparent design.“
Carbon or carbon fibers – i.e. oxidized, carbonized nylon yarn – were the solution. Stefan Utecht, Managing Director at Composyst GmbH, explains: “The innovative material is as strong as steel, but weighs a third less than alloy.“ The material does not corrode even in humid climate, can be formed freely – hence the MULTI cabin’s rounded corners – and needs significantly less maintenance than traditional elevator systems. Stability, functionality and almost no limits to the design are the prime advantages of the lightweight construction.
Innovative Operating Panel
Not only the cabin’s exterior is an eye-catcher. The interior with its operating panel is a must-see as well. Its circular display captures the cabin’s horizontal and circular travel directions within the shaft. The current direction of travel is always on display – as are the options to switch floors or cabins into other directions. Though the walls are only a few millimeters strong, the technicians and designers succeeded in discretely integrating aeration, lighting and the sound system. That’s just another reason why travelling by MULTI is a fascinating experience.
The light weight is what matters most: The parts made of carbon weigh only 150 kilograms. A comparable cabin made of stainless steel would weigh about 500 kilograms – even without ropes and counterbalance. Including doors, door drive and display, the cabin with its dimensions of 1.80 x 1.25 x 2.20 meters and a capacity for eight passengers weighs only 300 kilograms (30 kilograms including passengers).
The MULTI Elevator System
Due to global urbanization and the construction of ever more high-rise buildings, thyssenkrupp has started to re-invent the elevator. The MULTI system helps to turn skyscrapers into vertical cities – and acts like a subway system within these buildings. In densely populated areas, efficient mobility is not a luxury, but pure necessity. That makes MULTI one of the most important innovations regarding urban mobility and making cities the best places to live. Currently, the ropeless elevator is being tested at the thyssenkrupp test tower in Rottweil, Germany. In 2020, MULTI will be installed at the Eastside Tower in Berlin for the first time. For the development of MULTI, thyssenkrupp has already been awarded the Edison Awards in New York in 2017: It won Gold in the category “Transport and Logistics”.
About the German Design Award
The German Design Award addresses innovative products and projects as well as inventors and producers that pave the way in the German and international design scene.
The award aims at discovering and presenting unique design trends. The award that had been introduced in 2012 belongs to the most renowned design competitions worldwide and has a high reputation far beyond professional designers.