Up or down?

20. November 2020

They may only go in two directions but, design-wise, lifts offer a multitude of possibilities, as they elevating selection shows.

One would think that there are no other questions about elevators than their direction, but far from it: for an exclusive RALF SCHMITZ property, they are subject to critical issues of style and design in every single project, because the company's typical design language does not tolerate any taste or technology compromise.

For long it was frowned upon to live on the upper floors of an apartment building! Climbing numerous stairs, laboriously heaving the shopping floor by floor into the grand but unfortunately too high-lying residential property, was not befitting in premium residential areas. Accordingly, the most desirable address in the house has long been the first floor. That changed suddenly when the American Elisha Graves Otis invented the elevator in 1853 - the first fall-proof one, mind you. A more beautiful view, fresher air and the effortless ascent were now far more important than the shortest way to your own home. It did not take long before the first craftsmen fitted these stately buildings and representative properties in the best locations with correspondingly complex and artistically designed elevators. From then on one no longer stepped out onto the balcony, no, the fine company preferably enjoyed the far better view from the roof terrace, enjoyed the pioneering invention of the master mechanic from New York.

Berlin Grunewald Haus-Ludwig Fahrstuhl
Elevator design in Dusseldorf.

At this grand development in trendyFlingern, a pair of high-class lifts continue the handsome, clean-lined style (2012)

What made the everyday life of the residents of the upper floors immensely easier, posed and still presents architects with numerous technical and especially design challenges: While for centuries it was mainly about designing opulent foyers and staircases with artistic railings, a completely new design has emerged, almost unlimited in form and variety for over 185 years. Sometimes breathtakingly designed as glass capsules shooting up and down, or completely unspectacular as a means of transport that takes one morning after morning to the office on the sixth floor. Sometimes with a good shaking through magnificent Art Nouveau buildings in old, wood-paneled cabins or jump up or down into the paternoster. In or out – up or down? The operation of a lift always follows the same principle.

This little showcase displays how tastefully you can move from floor to floor in the exclusive RALF SCHMITZ apartment buildings:

The grandeur of the Düsseldorf apartment building “Unter den Linden” in the trendy Flingern district is reflected both inside and out. RKW Architects, who carried out the planning of the property, also proceeded with the design of the spacious elevator with great care and great attention to detail: the contemporary interior design fitted with framed mirrors, cool marble and clear black and white suits its modern residents in the north of the Rhine metropolis perfectly.

Simplified forms, daring materials and striking geometry: the three essential foundations for the impressive Art Deco style elevator that welcomes its passengers in the inviting foyer of Haus Hardt in Berlin-Grunewald. Noble materials such as filigree braided brass and elegant natural stone require the highest quality craftsmanship in order to create such a tasteful interior – RALF SCHMITZ working with craftsmen who know how to execute such sophisticated architectural details

Smart elevator in Berlin.

The Haus Hardt lift boasts a unique frame of laserwelded, stained steel sections and fine burnished brass mesh; inside, a floor of Grigio Carnico

An impressive stone lintel tops the entrance to this lift, which is exquisitely lit by an illuminated ceiling

Portal architecture: It is impressive how a historical architectural detail such as stone lintel tops manages to step into the present. The otherwise picturesque or sculptural field above, the door in Haus Ludwig in Berlin is more modest than its predecessors from Renaissance to Art Nouveau. In addition to the noble natural stone portal, references to architectural history are also provided by the coffered ceiling, which illuminates this elegant elevator.

The House Weyhe elevator is built in the style of the big metropolises. Whether it is due to the deep brown stained oak veneer, the shimmering chrome or the artfully laid natural stone that the sight of this vehicle reminds you of large apartment buildings such as the New York Dakota Building remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that the international design language fits effortlessly into RALF SCHMITZ interiors and makes arriving at the Berlin domicile a very special one.

The warm-hued oak veneer of entrance hall and staircase is set off in the lift areaby chrome (2013)