An elevator which does not have door? Now that’s incredulous and then seems like the scariest thing on earth. But it is very much a reality in Germany. The authorities, rightly so, given the risk associated with a doorless “lift” wanted to do away with it completely. But a group of activist’s who wanted to keep the traditional and heritage of Germany alive protested and they won!
Currently it seems there are only some 250 such door-less elevators, known as Paternoster. These are small cabins, which go up and down and can carry only one or two at a time. It moves up and down through the building shaft in a continuous loop, and every few seconds, another cabin comes to each floor. This means one has to show the agility to jump on or off when the desired floor comes. Obviously, no use of smartphones, no prams and surely no preening in front of the mirror till your floor comes!
One supporter of the paternoster said, “The ban was ridiculous. You can never really prevent danger. Because then you’d have to ban cars, because there’s of course the danger of an accident. … These elevators are a part of industrial history.“
So bending to these protestors who want to retain history, the 250 doorless elevators will continue to work, as long as signs are posted to warn of the elevator’s dangers.
And yes, ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG is working on a paternoster-inspired system that can run both vertically and horizontally, and a working prototype of the system, called MULTI, which was launched in July’17. Wonder if we should have protested and not allowed the old British time elevators, which had doors but worked on a rickety pulley system and wobbled and it actually climbed up?