MULTI for Metros Mused
Leaders from Transport for London, London First, Arup, WSP, thyssenkrupp and Weston Williamson gathered in London in June to discuss MULTI (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2015 and January 2016) as a solution for increasing demands in underground transportation hubs. thyssenkrupp believes that in addition to buildings, the concept is “a prime solution to the challenges of metro stations, as well.”
According to thyssenkrupp, metros are facing unprecedented challenges to mobility and efficiency. It notes that in London alone, the population is growing at a rate of 1.5% annually, reaching almost 8.6 million in 2015. Furthermore, it states that as the world’s oldest underground transportation network, the London Underground is among the most pressured. Here, passenger numbers have risen 33% in the past decade, and some 1.34 billion use the network every year.
thyssenkrupp stated that another consideration is evolving lifestyles, particularly commuters seeking a better work/life balance. To this end, transportation hubs are increasingly being developed into retail and dining locations — places where people want to stay, rather than leave quickly as has been the norm. MULTI is being installed at thyssenkrupp’s test tower in anticipation of testing. Its first working installation is expected in 2017.
Chris Williamson, cofounder and partner at architecture firm Weston Williamson + Partners, said at the panel:
“Rope-less elevator technology, like the MULTI system designed by thyssenkrupp, has the potential to redefine existing infrastructure and open up unprecedented levels of access both in-between platforms, and from the platforms to the world above. This kind of innovation is key for future city design and could provide a game-changing solution to solve the mobility issues that so many underground networks now face. What’s more — it could also allow further growth of stations below the ground, making it possible to build new train lines underneath the existing ones, to increase capacity even further.”