The Elevator Tower

[Images: Mitsubishi‘s new elevator testing tower in Japan].

Mitsubishi has opened a “test tower,” built for experimental new elevator designs and technologies. It’s “the world’s tallest elevator testing tower” – and it’s a functionalist monolith, standing at 567 feet.
It’s just one gigantic elevator shaft.
The building will be used “to conduct research into high-speed elevators to serve the next generation of super-tall buildings,” including stress tests on “new drives, gears, cables and other lift systems.”
I see at least one scene from Mission Impossible IV being filmed here – there’s some sort of world-destroying nuclear device hidden above that vertical maze of moving platforms and our hero’s got to find it… Or perhaps some future game world called Batman: Japan, in which the Caped Crusader lives and works entirely in various locations throughout the Japanese archipelago, burning incense and punching through Cor-Ten steel blocks in an underlit dōjō near the sea. One night he follows a lone criminal back to what looks like a vertical fortress… only it’s not a fortress: it’s this weird experimental elevator complex looming over him in the darkness.
He enters.
He hears machines.
Hijinks ensue.

9 thoughts on “The Elevator Tower”

  1. It’s interesting that there is a building for the sole purpose of circulation (vertical circulation in this case). Usually circulation is a mode of connecting purpose/program space. In this case, there is no purpose in the traditional sense, no destination. Just perfecting the art and science of movement.

  2. I’d rather see a piped transportation chamber, moving not only vertically, but horizontally as well. I’d be more fun.

  3. I love this thing. It looks so elegant and lovely. Far much more so than most skyscrapers in the world.

  4. Geoff, are you thinking of a vertical version of the great door chase scene that takes place near the end of Monsters Inc? That movie had great art direction.

  5. It looks like something that belongs in the elevator-centric novel The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead — a truly “pure” elevator shaft.

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