The metal cage glass cabins and wall climbers

The key reference point is the atrium in the Bradbury Building, referring back to Figures 11.1c and 3.23, where the bronze caged lift car rises in the open to the office balconies. Frank Lloyd Wright made an attractive allusion to a 'bird cage' theme in the lifts designed for the Johnson Building, Racine (Figure 11.5a).

Figure 11.4 Lifts and escalators assuming greater importance - interior of Lloyd's Building, London, 1986 (Richard Rogers Partnership)

Here, the circular cages run within an open framework through two storeys and are placed to give overall views of the celebrated workspace with the mushroom columns. It is part of the sense of openness that the directors' rooms have clear glass between their working areas and the general office.

The ultimate design of lifts is the wall climber whereby the lift cage rises on guides without an enclosed well. These were introduced by John Portman in the United States, mainly for the Hyatt Regency Hotels (refer back to Figure 3.8c and 3.10b). When placed externally, the view over the roofs as one rises adds to the general excitement (Figure 11.5b).

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