Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
World’s First Rope-Less Elevator Unveiled in Germany
June 22, 2017
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ROTTWEIL – The official unveiling of the MULTI elevator system, the first linear-motor elevator, was held at the thyssenkrupp Test Tower in Rottweil, Germany, on the 22nd of June.
Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO, thyssenkrupp Elevator, welcomes the crowd of over 200. CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood presents on mobility in the built environment, and at an urban context.

With over 200 participants – including experts in vertical transportation, architects, engineers, journalists and many other people involved in the construction industry – the unveiling proved to be an exciting event. In a nearby white dome, Antony Wood, CTBUH Executive Director, and Coen van Oostrom, CEO of OVG Real Estate, gave presentations dedicated to the role of mobility – and its reinvention – not only in building design, but also in the urban context. Then, together with the thyssenkrupp Elevator CEO, Andreas Schierenbeck, they moved to the Test Tower. The audience watched on a live stream as they reached the 80-meter long MULTI elevator shafts, where Markus Jetter, Head of Systems & Components, thyssenkrupp, was waiting for them, ready to activate the revolutionary new system. Once there, to the sound of drumbeats and a custom-composed “MULTI song,” they pushed the button, and the rope-less cabin arrived from the upper levels and then shifted horizontally to a parallel shaft.

Coen van Oostrom, CEO of OVG Real Estate (right), receives a warm introduction.

Following this occasion for the building community, the enthusiastic audience was divided into different groups and led by thyssenkrupp staff on tours of the Test Tower, where different interactive stations were installed. The attendees had the opportunity to ride the transparent panoramic elevator, which led to the rooftop of the 246-meter tall tower, where they were greeted by a 360° view of the German Black Forest.
Next, attendees were led to the mechanical room, where they watched an informative video about the MULTI System and experienced the Microsoft “HoloLens”, a mixed-reality headset that could support elevator maintenance in the future. At another informative station, there was a prototype of a MULTI cabin made of plastic and carbon fiber materials in order to reduce its weight. At the same station, Karl-Otto Schöllkopf, Head of Global High Rise Consulting, thyssenkrupp, and Dario Trabucco, CTBUH Research Manager and IUAV Professor, presented the early results of a collaborative project between thyssenkrupp and a group of students at the IUAV University of Venice.

Finally, the attendees had the opportunity to see the MULTI cabs moving – both vertically and horizontally – as they entered the dedicated shaft. Following flashing LED lights set along rails, the first rope-less cabin descended – quickly and silently – before coming to a smooth stop and moving horizontally, before finally moving up again in a new shaft.

Karl-Otto Schöllkopf, Head of Global High Rise Consulting, thyssenkrupp, discusses the collaborative project between TKE and students from the IUAV University of Venice.
The innovation presented during this exciting unveiling was well summarized by Antony Wood, who stated "This is perhaps the biggest development in the elevator industry since the invention of the safety elevator some 165 years ago. The 'holy grail' for elevators has been to move beyond being pulled vertically by a rope under tension - towards a system that allows movement in inclined or horizontal directions. MULTI, more than any other product delivered to date, really shows the way forward for that potential. This has the capacity to transform the industry at large, changing the way tall buildings are designed, and allowing for much more efficient core designs, as well as better connectivity in buildings.”