London, Birmingham see tall construction and more.

Brisac Gonzalez’s plan for Old Kent Road

“World’s Tallest” Vertical Lift Bridge for London

The Architects’ Journal reported on details of a proposal to construct the world’s tallest vertical lift bridge in southeast London. It mentions Transport for London documents seen by New Civil Engineer that show plans for a 90-m-tall, 180-m-span vertical lift bridge to connect Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. These dimensions would make it both the longest and tallest vertical lift bridge in the world. It would also be 15 m wide, and its deck would lift to a height of 60 m. Bridge specialist Knight Architects of Buckinghamshire won a key design role for engineering and architectural support on the project, in what Architects’ Journal called “a controversial procurement.” The latest proposal features a bridge 10 m longer than the Arthur Kill bridge in New York/New Jersey, which is currently the world’s longest lift bridge. A Transport for London spokesperson said “We are still working on the designs and plans,” which had yet to go to public consultation as of April.

SafeLine Opens Crayford Office

Swedish lift safety company SafeLine Group opened a U.K. office in the Crayford area of London, where it says “the heart of the U.K. lift business” lies. Led by Stuart Garcia, CEO of SafeLine Group UK, the office will offer same-day collection from its trade counter in Crayford and next-day delivery to customers anywhere in the country. Customers will also be able to use the supply and fit service from SafeLine’s in-house lift technicians. Located at Unit 47, Acorn Industrial Park, Crayford, Kent, it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The company supplies lift emergency phones, with more than 250,000 installations across Europe, and has manufactured more than 100,000 units of its SL6 phone system. It also sells CANopen Lift products, and its local-market product experts are also lift engineers.

Housing-Led Tower Plan Greenlit in London Despite Reservations

A plan to redevelop a retail center at 520 Old Kent Road in South London into a development including a 48-story residential tower designed by London-based Brisac Gonzalez has been approved by the Southwark London Borough Council despite concerns of the impact it could have on the surrounding historic environment, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reported. The skyscraper will contain 1,113 apartments mixing for-sale, for-lease and affordable units. Also on the drawing boards are 5,000 m2 of office space, more than 2,000 m2 of retail space, restaurants, a cinema and a public square and park. Historic England and Southwark’s design-review council were among those concerned about the tower’s impact on the views, but the need for housing won out.

Derelict Site to Be Transformed by Residential Tower

A derelict site in Birmingham that once housed a well-known rock club will be transformed by a 42-story tower housing 481 rental apartments, thanks to developer Moda reaching an agreement with John Sisk & Son to start construction in April, Construction Enquirer reported. The Broad Street development, which will have a 60,000 sq. ft. podium with a lounge, fitness areas, co-working space and a dining area, is expected to be complete in 2022. Moda Director of Projects Andrew Parker called it a “landmark project” that is the company’s largest within its pipeline of 7,000 apartments in 10 U.K. cities.

Project to Bring Tallest Building to London’s Brent Borough

Developers are planning a high-rise project that would bring 251 affordable homes, affordable workspaces and an incorporated supermarket to the Alperton neighborhood of London’s Brent borough, construction-oriented website pcbtoday.co.uk reported in April. Known as Minavil House, the 27-story tower would be the tallest building in Brent and would “make a significant contribution to addressing the capital’s affordable housing crisis,” the source said. The project will also include a café next to the adjacent Grand Union Canal and is expected to be complete by 2022.

Baku Metro Continues to Expand

Baku Metro, the public urban transport system that links underground railway lines in Azerbaijan, continues to expand, with authorities announcing in April that a new station would be built in White City (a 221-hectare redevelopment of a portion of Black City), AZERNEWS reported. Put into operation in 1967, Baku Metro has 25 stations on three lines — Green, Red and Purple — and is more than 36 km long. There are 95 escalators, five lifts and eight moving walks supporting the system. By 2030, it is hoped there will be 76 stations and five lines spanning more than 119 km.

KONE Opens Distribution Center in Dubai

KONE Middle East & Africa has opened its first regional distribution center in Dubai South. To be the main distribution point of KONE and non-KONE spare parts across the Middle East and Africa, the facility mainly aims to strengthen KONE’s maintenance capability across the region through increased spare-parts availability and reduced lead time. The company noted the surrounding high-profile buildings means short lead time is under greater demand than ever.

Global logistics company DB Schenker operates the center. It is managed by KONE Global Spares Supply (GSS). GSS offers and manages more than 160,000 different spare parts, maintenance tools and solutions delivered to locations all over the world. In 2018, it delivered nearly 1.3 million order lines globally from three different warehouses in Germany, China and Singapore.

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Elevator World | June 2019 Cover