Otis Panoramic Elevators Reach For The Sky In Milan

IssueQ4 by Italo Savastano Print

Milan, Italy’s most important economic hub, finds itself in the middle of a major revival with a strong focus on environmental sustainability needs. Part of this revival is a new business and residential district called Citylife, located a short distance from the old city center of Milan. Citylife was designed by prominent architects Arata Isozaki, Daniel Libeskind and Zaha Hadid, and includes the construction of three skyscrapers and dedicated areas for offices, stores, restaurants and services

Allianz Tower — Torre Allianz, in Italian — was completed in 2015 and houses the Italian headquarters of global financial services company Allianz SE of Munich, Germany. The building was designed by Isozaki and Andrea Maffei, and is the Citylife district’s first tower. The skyscraper is composed of a modular system that can, in theory, repeat indefinitely. There are six office floors in each of the eight modules clad with a double-glazed glass exterior. The vertical continuation of the slightly convex modules has been designed to create the concept of an endless tower.

Isozaki, a world-famous Japanese architect, founded the Italian branch of his company in cooperation with Maffei, an Italian counterpart. Standing 207-m-tall (247 m, including a broadcast antenna), Allianz Tower is the tallest building in Italy. Its 50 floors make it the tallest to the roof, as well. Otis Servizi, the Italian division of Otis, provided vertical transportation for the tower. The tower’s Otis panoramic elevators offer passengers a breathtaking view, starting with the new residential/business district, rising to the city skyline and up to an outstanding view of the Italian Alps in a ride that lasts just more than 20 s.

The VT System

Today’s skyscrapers require their vertical-transportation (VT) systems to meet a relatively new challenge: ensuring the quickest possible rise with elevator systems that combine speed, comfort, design, energy savings and safety. Otis met this challenge for Allianz Tower with 22 elevators, two escalators and two platform lifts, with one of the platforms located on the roof to service a 32-T.-rated “gondola” used to clean the building façade. Fourteen of the elevators serve each of the skyscraper’s floors with a speed of 7 mps and can go from the ground to the 50th floor in only 27 s.

Traffic flow is managed by the Otis Compass® destination-management system. This system indicates to the user which elevator will serve him or her in the shortest time, taking into account transportation capacity and other factors. The system ensures an average wait time under 24 s. at Allianz Tower, while optimizing the number of rises and improving energy savings. The elevators are also equipped with Otis’ regenerative-drive system, allowing further energy savings.

The real highlights are the six panoramic elevators with special lighting systems that provide outstanding views of the city and nearby mountains. The lighting systems change the look of the car along the entire ride, creating a modern design that complements the Milan skyline.

Otis Italy worked closely with the customer and general contractor, Colombo Costruzioni, from design to installation. During construction, the general contractor used Otis’ SkyBuild™ self-climbing lift system. The system allows the elevator to climb one floor at a time as the building rises, making it easier to move crews and materials inside the building quickly and safely without the need for an external lift. Once construction is complete, the elevator remains in place and is put into service as a building elevator.

Italo Savastano is Major Projects and Key Contracts manager for Otis Italy.