Private Residence, New York, NY
Located in the heart of the metropolis is a nondescript building housing a collection of rare cars. In the heart of this building is a Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor, a type of lift for transporting material or freight.
Yet this is not a lift…
It is a mechanical device uniquely tailored to the history and character of these rare cars, one that pushes existing elevator technology to its edge and uses materials in innovative and distinctive ways. Expanding the boundaries of its original concept, operating and riding this lift becomes a ritual that is part of the pleasure of collecting and personalizing big toys.
The lift is activated by touch-sensitive call buttons – moving images of light embedded in glass. The trajectory of the electrically operated trackless doors is controlled by a set of actuators, synchronized with the movement of the gates on the platform. Safety is resolved by a system of infrared curtain units and stainless steel mesh walls. The moving floor is a checkerboard of glass with each square illuminated by LED lights. Encased in the glass are digital drivers from the 1950s at full scale – participants in the La Mans race waiting for the car they will never drive.
Detached from the urban spectacle is a space that can never be standardized. The moment a fantasy platform is realized technology is the author of irony: a lift is not a lift, but a pleasure machine for the driver suspended in the architecture of nothing.