When elevators become works of art

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The fact that elevators are not just a means of transport, but can also be unusual design objects with an experience character, is impressively demonstrated in Hanover. In the "Havfen" creative center, the Berlin painter Christian Awe has transformed a KONE elevator into an impressive work of art by adding red side walls and a large-scale mixture of painting and collage.

Barrierefreies Kulturerlebnis dank KONE
Credit: Kone

When the building was constructed in 2017, the builders and operators deliberately opted for a KONE elevator with simple galvanized sheet steel walls, which were later to be artistically designed. These design elements integrate perfectly into the artistic ambience of the "Havfen", which was awarded the Lower Saxony State Prize for Architecture in 2018. Jürgen Pleteit, co-founder and managing director of the creative workshop, explains: "We wanted to do something cool with the elevator, because art and design are part of the concept." In the past, an artist had already equipped the elevator with foil and turf and added an audio installation, but this work was only on display for one week.

From elevator to design object and Instagram attraction

Christian Awe's work of art, on the other hand, is intended to last forever. The artist takes it in his stride that it will show signs of wear over time: "There will certainly be scratches, because the elevator is an everyday object. But a work of art like this is alive, and it's no problem for me at all if it needs a little repair every two or three years. I find it exciting to be so close to people that they can touch the art and really live with it. Art has to be part of life." The unique KONE elevator has now become a kind of tourist attraction that even has its own Instagram account and attracts people from all over Germany.

The elevator in the “Havfen” in Lower Saxony is not the only one that attracts attention with its striking design. In many places, elevators have also become unusual design objects with marketing potential in hotels, commercial and office buildings or shopping centers. For example, in the 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne, KONE elevator cabins with mirrored walls and LED light strips designed especially for the hotel were installed. In the Moxy Cologne Bonn Airport hotel, KONE elevators accompany guests on their journey through the building with travel accessories printed on glass such as jeans, sneakers and sunglasses, while in the Pierdrei hotel in Hamburg, copper plates, mirrored panes and spherical lights in the elevator cabin create atmospheric light and mirror effects and a porthole serves as both a notice and an information screen.

Credit: Kone

Elevators create accessibility and inclusion in museums

Cultural facilities with multiple floors pose a major challenge, especially for people with walking difficulties and wheelchair users. In order to make art and culture accessible to all, accessibility and equality are of great importance in inclusive art education. Barrier-free elevators from KONE offer an effective solution here. They have ground-level access, automatic doors and controls at a low height that can be easily reached from a seated position to meet the needs of wheelchair users.

Two-way emergency call systems connected to a 24/7 emergency call center are mandatory, but are not sufficient for people with limited speech or hearing. KONE offers emergency call systems for the hearing impaired that enable multilingual, visually supported communication via (touch) displays, as successfully used in the Belvedere Gallery. These systems offer an inclusive solution to meet the needs of people with hearing impairments.