PLP rethinks the elevator as a vertical maglev

June 11, 2018

Lars Hesselgren, Head of Research at PLP Architecture, revealed the latest design for IUMO/v, featuring an innovative propulsion system based on Maglev technology to delegates at the 22nd International Congress on Vertical Transportation Technologies. IUMO/v is the result of four years of research undertaken by PLP Labs, the in-house think tank of PLP Architecture in London.

For this research project, we have proposed the replacement of the traditional vertical elevator shaft with a multi-directional transport system on the exterior of the building. Liberating vertical transport from the central core to the exterior of the building opens up opportunities for unprecedented architectural forms. If current skyscrapers often feel monolithic, self-contained and sometimes indifferent to their context, IUMO/v will allow for new types of buildings that, despite their height, are holistically integrated with the grain of the city around them. The elevator has been a primary influence on the shape and appearance of the modern city to date. We believe that its inevitable demise will be the catalyst for the next chapter in the formal life of the city.