The London and the South East branch of Stannah Lift Services has completed a major lift refurbishment and modernisation at Gunnersbury Court, an authentic Art Deco apartment complex in West Acton, London, built in the 1930s.
Ranged over three buildings and surrounded by extensive grounds, this sought-after residential development was recently given a total overhaul, with a sympathetic replacement of the antiquated lift system central to the project.
The London office of global engineering consultants, Arup, awarded the contract to British independent lift company, Stannah, on behalf of Gunnersbury Court Limited.
As all residents were at home, a softly-softly approach was adopted for the lift replacement. Each buildings new lift and related building work was completed one at a time so only one apartment block had an out-of-service lift at any one time.
Stannahs team of lift engineers was on-site for a total of 32 weeks, so it was crucial that they worked in a way that was acceptable to the residents, whilst ensuring completion of the job on time and budget.
The residents were, understandably, attached to the heritage façade and original signage in the entrance halls, so it was not surprising that news of the complete removal of a significant part of the history of the building was not welcomed. The stylish old 4-person passenger lifts featured oak lift cars with all brass fittings, open-work shutter-gates, and bronze cage shafts that really reflected a bygone-age of elegance.
All parties were keen to maintain the 1930s aesthetic whilst improving safety and performance. The refurbishment team originally considered retaining the caged shaft as this allowed maximum light into the stairwell and each floor; but this proved an unsafe option as it presented a potential trapping hazard for fingers and clothing, between the shaft and the lift car. A compromise was reached which retained style but improved running costs, operating systems and the safety of everyone using the lifts.
The three new lift systems and their accompanying, completely modernised and refurbished machine rooms have so many benefits:
reduced operating costs and improve performance
accurate levelling and a smoother ride
shafts replaced by solid structures
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