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City of Arts and Sciences Valencia, Spain

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The City of Arts and Sciences; photo © Flickr user FromtheNorth

Unusual traction-hydraulic combination of elevators upgraded with destination dispatching.

submitted by Carlos Alapont, Alapont Group

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, is the largest landmark in Valencia and the second-most-visited cultural complex in Spain. Designed by local and world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and constructed over 20 years, it represents a EUR1.2-billion (US$1.42-billion) investment in a premier large-scale cultural destination. Alapont Group was contracted to build a custom vertical-platform system to transport tools and goods.

Platform System

The challenge for Alapont was to design the system to be not seen and totally integrated in the buildings, at the same time resolving a big problem for the facilities-maintenance team.

The system is composed of three pieces, the first a fixed frame involving the platform. The second is a platform with a cubic frame to push and support the ceiling. The third is the same ceiling, which is, at the same time, the main floor in the middle of the street that needs to support passing trucks weighing 80,000 lb. or more.

The lifting platform provided is a permanent device with vertical scrolling. The lifting force is provided by an electric motor, which drives a hydraulic pump responsible for transmitting hydraulic-fluid pressure to a cylinder. The hydraulic platform has a direct-push four-cylinder lifting control with electronic system valves. Other specifications are:

  • Power: 30 kW
  • Maneuver: continuous pulse (person present)
  • Compensation system for pinion gear
  • Access: 180º with two “lips” that transfer automatically
  • Rack maximum load: 6000 kg
  • Total load: 12,000 kg
  • Travel: 3,870 mm
  • Dimensions: 2,650-mm long, 4,270-mm wide

Credits

This elevator was designed by Vicente Lorente’s team, including Jose Ramon Borras and Borja Cuallado. They oversaw the electronic devices. Toni Lacal made its finalization possible inside the factory. These people made the dream of the architect, who wanted the elevator to emerge from underground, possible.

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