New Zealand's fastest lifts, travelling at a knee-shaking 8m/second and costing $15 million, take upper-level tenants up and down Auckland's new $1 billion Commercial Bay tower.
Six lifts on the southern side of the development's PwC Tower are glazed floor-to-ceiling, making an even more spectacular journey over Auckland's skyline at the rate of two-and-a-half floors a second.
Blair Johnston, Warren and Mahoney's lead architect on the project, said the Schindler 7000 Series lifts from Switzerland served mid-rise and high-rise floors in the 40-level 180m tall waterfront block.
They are New Zealand's most sophisticated lifts, he said.
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"The height of the building requires separate groups of lifts for the high-rise and mid-rise floors. The high-rise lifts travel at 8m per second, the mid-rise at 4.5m per second. The high-rise lifts are the fastest in New Zealand while the mid-rise lifts are the fastest machineroom-less mid-rise lifts in the country."
Tenants travelling from the public level-seven reception area to the tower's top office floor on the 39th level will get there in only about 12 seconds.
The high-rise lifts don't stop at the first 14 floors, saving time for tenants higher up, he said.
"The speed of the lifts directly improves waiting times at busy periods and improves the client experience."
The new lifts are technically different from most others in the country.
"The machine series, types of ropes used and the shape of the car is different. That deals with the piston effect created by lift cars travelling past each other at high speed."
But unless you're a tower tenant or authorised visitor in the block owned and developed by Precinct Properties, forget joy riding.
"All lifts are only accessible via swipe card. There is also a concierge in the sky lobby who will help visitors," Johnston said.
New Zealand's previously fastest lifts were at 188 Quay St in the former PwC Tower, Johnston said, travelling at 6m per second. That block is also owned by Precinct, headed by Scott Pritchard.
New Zealand's biggest corporate relocation starts this weekend, as the first tenants move into the tower, able to take 3200 people, making it also the single largest concentration of office workers in New Zealand. Jarden and PwC are some of the first to shift.
PwC comes from Precinct's tower opposite, Jarden from Precinct's ANZ Centre and MinterEllisonRuddWatts from the Lumley Tower on Shortland St, Chapman Tripp from Precinct's ANZ Centre, DLA Piper from 205 Queen St, Marsh from Robt' Jones' SAP Tower at 151 Queen St and Alvarium from Precinct's Zurich House.
Game developer RocketWerkz has taken the top floors, level 38 and 39.
Six escalators in two banks of three are at the main entranceway in a triple-height lobby on the Lower Albert St/Customs St corner. For speed, more escalators will travel up in the mornings and more down in the afternoons.
Johnston said the ground floor had 20 men's showers and 19 women's showers for tenants, 100 men's lockers and 94 women's and secure storage for 190 bikes. The difference in space for men and women is because of the floor configuration.
A public reception area, the new Spectra bar cafe and relaxed seating areas are in the level-seven sky lobby which opens out to the landscaped open-air sky terrace accessed via a revolving door.
"It's a generous space that will be filled with life by day and night, to achieve a vibrant extension of the workplace," Johnston said of the sky lobby, which has granite floors and sandstone walls.
Windows from Germany have a graduated tint from the bottom up to reduce solar heat.