22 Bishopsgate heads for the top

Nick Myall
22 Feb 2017

Twentytwo Bishopsgate is under construction in London’s Square Mile and unique double-deck elevators have been chosen to transport its occupants within the tower

More and more people are living in cities across the globe, indeed, the UN predicts that by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. As populations increase in our cities and urban areas and buildings stretch ever upwards, architectural design should be guided by how we work, live and play, and not simply by a brief for more floor space wrapped in an eye-catching façade.

Twentytwo Bishopsgate, one of the newest buildings under construction in London’s Square Mile, has been designed with exactly this in mind. Described as an ‘urban village campus’, Twentytwo Bishopsgate has been conceived as more than office space, seeking to enhance the quality of life of its approximately 12,000 occupants with a blend of private and public spaces and amenities. The building will boast a viewing deck affording incredible views over London. Once completed, the viewing deck will be the highest in the city.

Anyone who has passed through the city during rush hour would notice that London has become a cycling city, with hoards of commuters on bikes weaving their way along the growing network of cycle lanes. According to research by Transport for London, in 2015, a record 610,000 cyclists pedalled the streets each day. Taking this into account, Twentytwo Bishopsgate team will equip the property with extensive bike storage facilities and maintenance stores.

Working out how best to move people around these buildings in an efficient, green and more personalised way is one of the biggest challenges architects and developers face.

At Twentytwo Bishopsgate, Otis has been engaged to supply the 57 state-of-the-art elevators and 10 escalators needed to meet this challenge. Inside the building, clever technologies will act as a compass to guide you on your journey. Otis’ SmartGrouping system will organise you with other passengers travelling to your destination to minimise the number of stops made on the way to your floor, getting you where you need to be up to 50% faster. 

In some buildings, smartphone apps can ensure you’re no longer wasting time waiting in the lobby for your lift, as you can now call the elevator whilst sitting at your desk, giving you more time to get the important things done. 

Better still, as technology gathers momentum, the elevators do too. Once completed, the Otis SkyRise® double-deck elevators in Twentytwo Bishopsgate are set to travel at a speedy 30km/hour, making them the fastest in Europe.  

Building these huge landmarks also calls for elevator systems which move men and materials safely and shielded from the elements; particularly beneficial in London’s sometimes inclement conditions. At Twentytwo Bishopsgate, the developers are using Otis SkyBuild™ construction elevators which quickly climb one floor at a time as the building rises thanks to new unique hydraulic piston systems. These are installed internally and on completion, convert to high speed passenger elevators inside the building. Unlike external construction elevators of old, these new SkyBuild elevators protect workers from London’s changeable weather. 

Twentytwo Bishopsgate is set to be completed in 2019, and will be the tallest building within London’s Square Mile business district.

Nick Myall

News editor

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