Seoul tower set elevator record

Not only is it the tallest tower in South Korea and fifth highest in the world — dwarfing the Korean capital’s next highest building, Three IFC Office Tower, by nearly 300 meters — it’s also home to the highest glass-bottom observatory at 478 meters (1,568 ft).
The Lotte World Tower features the world’s tallest and fastest double-decker elevator, the Sky Shuttle, which whisks passengers from the basement to the 121st-floor observation deck in one minute, or at 10 meters per second.

From the top of the half kilometer-tall tower, visitors can survey the edges of Seoul’s vast urban sprawl and the mountainous terrain beyond — only a handful of other skyscrapers in sight.

Elevated design

Lotte hired American elevator manufacturer the Otis Elevator Company to bring its double-deck Sky Shuttle to life.

Consisting of two attached cabins stacked on top of each other, it simultaneously carries passengers to separate floors. Other famous structures featuring this type of technology include the Canton Tower, in Guangzhou; the Petronas Towers, in Kuala Lumpur; the Eiffel Tower, in Paris; and the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.

Boasting twice the capacity of a conventional elevator — each cabin holds 52 passengers — the tower’s lift directly connects the basement and the observation deck, skipping the floors in between which are full of shopping complexes, offices, and even a “seven star” hotel.

“A double-deck elevator was used because the observatory would be crowded at certain times of day,” Wonixuk Choi, manager of Lotte Corporation, tells CNN.

Inside the lift cabins, it feels like a video game — 15 OLED displays offer a virtual tour of Seoul during the 60-second ride.

Elevating Asia

Asia has made a name for itself in ground-breaking elevator technology in recent years.

In 2016, the Shanghai Tower opened, unveiling the fastest elevator in the world.

The Mitsubishi-designed lift runs at an incredible 20.5 meters per second (67 ft/s).

Standing at 2,074 feet (632 meters) tall, a fast lift was always going to be necessary for the world’s second tallest tower.

Also in China, Hitachi last summer unveiled the world’s second fastest elevator in Guangzhou’s tower CTF, which stands at 1,739 feet tall.

Its lift zooms from floors zero to 95 in an incredible 45 seconds — or 20 meters per second (65 ft/s).

Inside the elevator cabin, an indicator shows passengers how fast they are going, perhaps to prove that they aren’t being cheated.

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