It’s a Wrap at Rusacks St Andrews


Architectural vinyl provides fitting finish for lifts serving

Resembling a castle with its rustic stone masonry, turrets and dormer windows, Rusacks St Andrews has been attracting golfers and tourists since it opened in 1887. The five-story, 40,000-ft2 structure was designed by David Henry of Hall & Henry in the Free Northern European Renaissance style, and fits right in with its verdant, bucolic surroundings. The resort is situated in the seaside town of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, a hamlet northeast of Edinburgh famous for golf courses including the Old Course. Rusacks St Andrews overlooks the Old Course’s 1st green and 18th green, which is distinguished by the Swilcan Bridge, a small Roman arch originally built at least 700 years ago to help shepherds and livestock cross Swilcan Burn.

The hotel, originally called the Marine Hotel, is named for one of its original owners, Johann Kristof Wilhelm Rusack, a German man who came to Scotland in 1874, lived on a nearby farm with his wife and owned and operated several hotels and rooming houses in the area.

Steve King, in a review of Rusacks St Andrews for Condé Nast Traveller, said:

“St Andrews has been a destination for Christian pilgrims since the 12th century. The golf pilgrims only began to arrive more recently.. . .[Since Rusacks opened in 1887], it has been going gangbusters, though Rusack himself could scarcely have imagined the significance it would come to assume. [It] overlooks the oldest and most famous golf course on earth and is within a five-iron’s strike of the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world [University of St. Andrews, founded in 1413], and has sporting and scholarly chops in equal measure.”

Acquired in 2019 from Macdonald Hotels by Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners, Rusacks St Andrews underwent a comprehensive, GBP7-million renovation and expansion shortly thereafter. In addition to full refurbishment of the original structure, a 42,000-ft2, six-storey addition was added, creating 44 additional rooms and a rooftop bar and restaurant. The work also included the hotel’s lifts, a project in which Swindon-headquartered Omnia Vinyl Ltd. was heavily involved. Omnia Director Gareth Watkinson said:

“I think the most challenging aspect was also the most rewarding. It was the complete transformation of the old hotel’s lift cars to complement the new décor. Luckily, due to the extensive selection of wood-effect vinyl in 3MTM’s DI-NOCTM range, [hotel refurbishment specialist] Zenith and the client managed to select a pattern that matched the wood panelling used throughout the hotel reception and lobby areas. We also managed to remove the door and completely strip the car operating panels (COPs) for wrapping with the assistance of Classic Lifts to make sure full coverage was achieved. To go from the original, plain panels and stainless steel to an all wood-and-gold look in under two days with only a few kilograms of vinyl added is a real testament to the lift-wrapping process.”

Watkinson observed that all vinyl wraps used by Omnia either meet or exceed fire rating standards of EN 81-20 and EN 81-50.

Tony Bootes, service manager at Durham-based Classic Lifts Ltd., said the job came about in early 2020 when the company was contacted by Zenith and asked to provide architectural wrappings for lift entrances, car doors and associated landing areas and car equipment at Rusacks. Classic Lifts had previously carried out a partial wrap of a lift car at the hotel to create a textured oak look, and had worked with Omnia before, as well. So Bootes called Watkinson to obtain a variety of design options to show Zenith.

Bootes said:

“Once the design was decided, we worked with Omnia to provide them with engineering assistance to carry out the work in a safe and efficient manner. Our engineer removed the car doors so the wrapping could be done with a seamless look. The lift car and landing fixtures were removed and suitably dismantled so the wraps could be applied, then our engineer ensured they were properly put back together again.”

The team, consisting of Omnia and Classic Lifts, handled COP, car button and door removal for a single lift serving the main, historic hotel, covering the plain, beige metal surfaces with DI-NOC woodgrain and gold/bronze-brushes metallic coverings. Work also included vinyl coverings for the ground-floor (GF) entrance.

Otis UK & Ireland won the contract to manufacture and install a goods lift and two passenger lifts for the Rusacks St Andrews expansion. New Equipment Sales Consultant Rodger Allan told ELEVATOR WORLD UK that the company learned from contractor ACREO, headquartered in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, that its proposal had been accepted in June 2020 following ACREO’s tender request in December 2019. Otis Project Manager Tony Forster says the company was initially asked to deliver the lifts in October and November 2020, but that was delayed due to the Scottish government imposing construction site shutdowns amid COVID-19 concerns. The team from Otis UK & Ireland installed the goods lift first, beginning in March 2021, then the two passenger lifts in April 2021, Forster says. All lifts were handed over in July 2021. Fortunately, says Forster, supply-chain issues did not affect the project.

Allan said the trio of Otis lifts are all Gen2® machine-room-less units manufactured in Madrid. The goods lift has a standard stainless steel finish, and the passenger lifts were delivered “bare” for the bespoke fitout required by the client.

For the new lifts manufactured and installed by Otis that serve the expansion, the Omnia and Classic Lifts team wrapped the two GF and two level-four entrances, including the new call buttons and indicators. Internally, the lift car doors and architraves were also wrapped. That work, as well as the transformation of the lifts in the original hotel structure, was extremely fulfilling, team members said.

As for Otis, Forster said:

“It was rewarding working on such an iconic building with a new client, ACREO. From an installation perspective, the jobsite presented challenges because the lifts were installed in an extension at the back of the hotel. Space was tight and storage constrained as it was shared with other suppliers working onsite. In the end, everybody pulled together to give our best for future hotel guests. Throughout the preparation and installation process, the Otis team received a lot of help and support from the team at ACREO. Our collaboration was very rich and enjoyable.”


[2] King, Steve. “A home for golf obsessives – as well as those with no interest in the sport whatsoever,” Condé Nast Traveller, September 30, 2021

Elevator World Associate Editor

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