There is, perhaps, no more enclosed space in a building than the elevator cab. Enclosed spaces can lead to a feeling of being trapped, helpless, cramped and congested. An elevator is the last place you would want to be in an earthquake. This calls for a case to revise current designs that have focused overwhelmingly on luxurious interiors, ignoring the very human need to move about, see and feel open spaces.
The journey to Sensitive Elevator Cab Design
Traditionally, elevators in commercial spaces have been located next to the stairwell lobby and open into the office floor. That means that lift lobbies necessarily have fewer ‘open’ walls to look out of. There are, indeed, ducts for air passage. But it is the illusion of air that is missing. Public buildings are required by law to make all areas accessible to people with different kinds of ability. But open elevator design is still under-attended. Standard passenger elevators cost a hefty sum to install and maintain. Most businesses rarely find it worth their while to invest in sensitive elevator design.
Residents and employees inside skyscrapers may spend considerable minutes within an elevator cab. With vertical design being a necessity rather than a luxury, elevator design must take into account the sensitivities of the user. The elevator is part of the first impression that visitors and potential clients will have in hotels, airports and commercial buildings. Hence there exists a genuine need to make it as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Design too, has progressed from utility to user experience. That means that the user should now be at the center of the engineering process. If users need to feel free from confinement, elevator design should respond accordingly.
Reflect and Multiply Space
One of the most basic methods to create the illusion of space is the use of mirrors on the inside walls of the elevator cab. Mirrors reflect and multiply the space available inside the cab. A mirror arrangement creates the illusion that there is more space available than actually is. Having mirrors run along the length of an elevator cab wall helps make the walls look longer. Reflective floors and ceilings can help increase the visibility of artificial dimensions.
Use light to enhance elevator cab interiors
Applying another principle of interior design, using lighter colors helps reflect light better and gives duplicates the appearance of space. Darker colors, graffiti and decorative murals, on the other hand, tend to shrink space. Lighting is best located on walls instead of ceilings, some 300 millimeters below the edge. They must further be directed to shine up across the ceiling and down along the walls. This allows the light to spread itself over the surfaces, making it appear as if there is more space.
You can also use fake windows inside the cab to show an expanded vista. With the proper choice of mood lighting and color, you can achieve a visually enhancing effect.
Glass Elevator Cab Design
You may choose to make your elevator walls out of glass or some other transparent material. There is nothing more comforting for an elevator user than a 360-degree view of the surroundings. Back painted glass panels can also match various décor themes within your lobby. Easy to clean, durable, contemporary, easy to clean…. glass.
Sensitive design calls for appreciating the psychology of human perception. Many other design principles can similarly be applied to increase the diversity and spread of light.
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