Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Students Involved in Rope-less and Non-vertical Elevator Thesis Graduate from Iuav University of Venice
March 22, 2018

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Watch a video simulating of rope-less, non-vertical elevator movement

VENICE – The students who started their master thesis on the application of a rope-less and non-vertical elevator system to the high-rise building  graduated from the Iuav University of Venice in March.

The research group was composed of 7 students who presented different projects, some in groups and some as individuals.

Two students developed two different projects for the Garibaldi area in Milan. The first one consisted of a cluster of residential towers, with circulation that is entirely managed by a rope-less and non-vertical elevator arrangement.

Building design proposed by Iuav Students, C. Grego, S. Menardo and V. Vianello, which utilizes rope-less, non-vertical elevators in a horizontal connection.

The challenge of this specific project was to manage the overall expected traffic between the towers, with the incorporation of one common hall. It means that all the cabins depart and arrive from the same point, however, they travel along different paths and reach all the parts of the project. This thesis wanted to underline the potential of the new transportation system and the reduction of occupied space thanks to its peculiarities.

The other project located in this area of Milan, investigated how to combine public transportation together with private circulation within a mixed-use building. The student conceived the circuit as a looped metro line with predetermined stops according to the services and the functions of the building. Along the same circuit, but with different cabins and separate loading and unloading areas, cabins which traveled to the building's apartments were also enabled.

The main issue in this specific project was in the design and configuration of the core and lobbies, as they have to be separated but still connect as part of the same building. The goal was reached thanks to the capability of the system to run various cabins along the same path and to the possibility to move horizontally.


Building design proposed by Iuav student, A. Zanovello which combined public and private services using a rope-less and non-vertical arrangement in a mixed-use building in Milan, Italy.

Building design proposed by Iuav Student, S. Tonon where a rope-less and non-vertical circulation arrangement serves a cluster of residential towers in Milan, Italy.

Moving to a different part of the word, another student studied a 300-meter tower to be placed within the University campus of the city of Seoul. According to the early studies undertaken, the student identified an explicit need for that area: student apartments and other student related services.

The idea of this building was to provide the maximum number of apartments of various sizes and types. In order to reduce the size of the service core, the student studied an interesting dispatching strategy made possible through the application of the rope-less and non-vertical elevator, where
an express and a local service are both housed within the same shaft.

The outer elevator shafts (one upward and one downward) act as express lines. Due to area designiated for horizontal transition, the cabs can switch from the express lines to the central one where they perform a local service, stopping at each floor and serving the calls. It has been a very interesting challenge for the student, especially in the design of the appropriate lobby configuration.


Building design proposed by Iuav Student, M. Toppan wich applied the new circulation system in a 300-meter high tower comtaining both local and express service in the same core, for a residential tower in Seoul. Building design proposed by Iuav Students, C. Grego, S. Menardo and V. Vianello, where the rope-less and non-vertical elevetor system is applied to allow the circulation between two buildings through sky-bridges.
Finally, a group of three students, designed two tall buildings, located along the shore of the Lake Michigan in Chicago, which are linked at different levels by sky-bridges and crossed both vertically and horizontally by the new elevator system. The towers serve different functions interconnected to each other at different levels through the use of equipped sky-bridges, which can be used both by foot or inside the cabins of the rope-less system that travel within them.

The students designed different possible solutiosn to combine the transportation system and the architectural space, as this short video clearly presents. The different functions welcomed by the towers are easily managed by the new system thatacts more as a urban transportation system, even if does move vertically.

The topic of the research project has been appreciated by the judging commission both for the novelty of the topic and also for the interesting results reached. Moreover, the possibility to simulate the application of the rope-less and non-vertical elevator system to those project – that can be considered as effective case studies – has been very useful for the progress of the research.