Glass elevator ride offers a chimney top view of London’s skyline

Following the renovation of London’s Battersea Power Station, Ralph Appelbaum Associates’ much-anticipated Lift 109 has finally opened to the public. The one-of-a-kind experience consists of a glass elevator ride that provides 360-degree views of the city skyline from the top of one of the building’s iconic chimneys.

The project, which also involves Otis and Squint/Opera, is named Lift 109 in honor of it reaching a height of 109 m (357 ft). It’s installed into one of Battersea Power Station’s newly rebuilt chimneys, which were painstakingly constructed using the original building methods, requiring 25,000 wheelbarrows of hand-poured concrete and 375 liters (almost 100 gal) of paint for each chimney.

The main part of the experience brings to mind Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and involves visitors entering the glass elevator at the bottom of the chimney then traveling up to the top to be greeted with superb panoramic views of London. A combination of traditional signs and Augmented Reality provide information on some of the capital city’s most notable landmarks, before the elevator descends again.

Lift 109 is inserted into one of Battersea Power Station's four iconic chimneys, which were recently rebuilt using traditional techniques
Lift 109 is inserted into one of Battersea Power Station’s four iconic chimneys, which were recently rebuilt using traditional techniques

Joshua Atkins

“During their descent, visitors can appreciate the incredible engineering and architecture of the Chimney Lift; its details and textures highlighted by a halo of soft white light,” explained Ralph Appelbaum Associates’ press release. “Where possible, both large- and small-scale artefacts from the original Power Station have been incorporated, from the busbar pipes that carried oil throughout the Power Station, to signage and measuring instruments that aided operators in directing electricity throughout the building and out into London.”

In addition to the elevator itself, there’s also an exhibition area accessed from Battersea Power Station’s refurbished Turbine Hall A. This details the history of the building, including a lighting installation illustrating how energy was generated and controlled, and an interactive 360-degree media space which reacts to touch.

If you’d like to take a ride up to the top of Battersea Power Station yourself, the tickets start from £15.90 (roughly US$19) per adult.

Source: Lift 109

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