Platform lifts. Swedish manufacturer ARITCO shows how architects can integrate them into residential properties without them looking like an afterthought – but rather a serious design statement.
Platform lifts for homes often seem like an architectural afterthought, used to bring modern homes into line with modern accessibility- or safety standards. Hastily added with little or no communication with the rest of the home, their clunky and stubborn form often interrupts an otherwise peaceful interior.
Aritco, though, is a Swedish company that builds lifts to be different – starting with the motivation to bring out the full potential of a home by making them more accessible and more comfortable, in typical Scandinavian style.
Whether they give an ageing couple the comfort and reassurance to choose to stay in their home for longer, provide access for all in a multi-generational household, or help a young family transport children and baggage vertically, Aritco’s range of home lifts boasts a heavy emphasis on design, function and innovation that everyone can appreciate.
Unlike the traditional home lift, however – hidden away in a corner where its banality can’t infect the rest of the interior – designer of the Aritco HomeLift, Alexander Lervik, has rebranded the lift as a bold, statement design piece, a central element of a modern home.
Lervik has reinvented the lift... with a wheel. Aritco HomeLift’s sleek, minimal control panel eschews the pedestrian button in favour of the Aritco SmartControl navigation wheel, bringing a sense of interactivity to the journey between floors.
Unlike the traditional home lift, hidden away in a corner where its banality can’t infect the rest of the interior, Aritco has rebranded the lift as a bold, statement design piece, a central element of a modern home
All lifts in Aritco’s range are platform lifts, meaning that the shaft forms most of the lift interior. So, while a glass shaft means as much as 95% of the entire product is recyclable, it also means the lift’s interior and its customisable lighting system can be seen from elsewhere in the house – effectively turning the whole structure into a multi-storey floor lamp. From inside, it provides passengers with an ever-changing view, ‘It’s cool if something happens during your ride, right?’ suggests Lervik.
A traditional cabin lift is the vertical transport of choice for high-rise commercial properties, due to their high traffic, high loads and high... heights. But these requirements rarely apply in the average home, where a smaller, quieter and cheaper platform lift fits perfectly and performs just as well. To install a cabin lift, you need to find extra space for all the cables and counterweights. Meanwhile, Aritco’s home lifts’ combined platform and shaft, along with a much simpler 21cm-deep screw-nut drive system, mean its entire footprint can be as little as 0.35sqm more than the standing area.
Using less power than a washing machine, the screw-nut drive system helps to cut down on power and space, but it’s also a much quieter and, more importantly, a safer drive system for small residential lifts. A large screw pole runs through the full length of the lift shaft and, connected to a supporting wall, holds the weight of the lift plus passengers. As the nut rotates on a gentle incline around the self-lubricating pole, the lift glides smoothly, quietly and safely up and down.
Safety is paramount for lifts built for home operation. Parents find themselves on high alert when in the vicinity of shopping centre lifts with children, for example, constantly scouting potential dangers: ‘Step back’, ‘Pick up your bag’, ‘Take your finger out of there’, ‘Don’t lick the floor’ (that’s good advice for any situation), but that level of vigilance does not create a relaxing home.
As, perhaps, the safest way to get from one floor to another, Aritco’s CE-certified home lift range uses technology to gain a homeowner’s trust.
With pressure sensors surrounding a flush-fitting platform; smart doors that can’t trap fingers but lock automatically behind an open shaft; a key for locking the control panel – and putting a halt to curiosity-induced toddler joy rides; a spare battery which, in the event of power failure, nudges the platform those final few feet – sadly stopping any action-movie heroics; and an emergency call button in the event of accidents or another emergency, it’s much safer than a staircase. And you don’t need a frustrating stair gate.
The latest Aritco HomeLift uses its own phone app to control lighting, remotely schedule movement and automatically detect, diagnose and repair problems before they arise, while the designers’ future development aims include even more customisable lift interiors, smart home integration and 100% recyclability.
It’s this passion for innovative technologies, bold ideas and the chance to improve home safety, access and living potential all at once, that means Aritco’s home lifts are on the up and up.