Battersea Lift Drum (2022)

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Client: Littlehampton Welding Ltd
Architect: Wilkinson Eyre
Location: Battersea, London

Date: 2022-10-22 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
Tags: Steel, Digital Design, Parametric Design, CNC

Battersea Lift Drum

Lift 109 is a viewing-platform experience at Battersea Power Station, London. A glass lift rises up through one of the iconic Battersea Power Station chimneys, emerging from the top to allow views across the city.

Format worked with Littlehampton Welding Ltd and Wilkinson Eyre Architects to deliver the technical/fabrication design for the lift “drum” at the base of Lift 109. The drum allows access for embarking and disembarking passengers from the main lift and secondary/rescue lift that can run in the shaft below the primary car. A great summary of how the lift works is found here

The steel drum structure has to carry the loads from the lift rails themselves as well as all other access and station technical equipment.

Instead of typical cross-bracing to stabilise the drum cylinder, Architects Wilkinson Eyre set us the challenge of using the perforated steel cladding panels as part of the structure so that the view from inside the car would not be obstructed by bracing. This resulted in a set of careful structural rules to inform the generation of the aesthetic perforations made to look like wiring diagrams for the original power station. Format assisted in the generation of the patterns by providing grasshopper scripts with the key structural rules encoded.