ALA is the new home lift by Adriano Design for Vimec, completely redesigned in the structure and in all its components through the language of design. The functional details have been designed to be intuitive also in order to ensure maximum safety.
Controls, handles and platform are patented.
The walking base is coupled with structural metal ribs that sink into the floor when level 0 is reached, bringing the elevator platform almost flush with the floor: this result is obtained without having to dig any pit, as it happens in traditional elevators, but by making simple cuts in the floor.
The vertical steel handle on the inside, which replaces the traditional push-button, moves the lift when rotated. The LED light rings integrated in the handles, both positioned inside the cabin and outside on all floors, indicate where the lift is located.
Le Monetier-les-Bains, House on the rocks, France
We thought of Moebius. His fantastic universes scattered across distant planets, which strange creatures from the future almost seem to fly to, display the profiles of French cathedrals, their skylines jagged with pinnacles inspired by the purest Gothic tradition, the typically-European capacity to make history a present-day, and perhaps even future, experience.
Like a natural crag or a lofty pinnacle, the house we conceived clings to the vertical tower of a soaring transparent elevator which, like in Moebius’ worlds, gives us the sense of flying. We wanted it to be not only transparent, but also to reflect the reddish and bronze colours of this extraordinary landscape in Southern France, the rocks, snow and pine trees of the Alps, the jagged skyline of a small ancient town of stone.
Thus a long material stripe of COR-TEN steel is traced on the hard elegance of the concrete by the base and back panel, sliding easily along the rock wall that the house clings to, jutting out into the air so that everything becomes a panorama, a view, an emotional experience. That’s the reason to let yourself slide. Gliding through space to reach up to the rugged rock itself, along a narrow trail, to then move up or downwards among the large open terraces, the sky-high end point to the glazed rooms of a house that becomes a spyglass, an optical device, a perceptive mechanism.
You can sleep, eat, train on a latest-generation bike, sip a glass of excellent French wine, always aware of the exceptional nature of this place. We have learned from Wright, Neutra and Mies how to design to experience the majesty of Nature as a pervasive element, how to sink deep into the landscape, that Fata Morgana and fantastical enchantress who wields a magic no architect can resist. Not even in the graphic novels and distant universes of a great French illustrator, who would probably have liked to learn how to fly.
Corviglia-Piz Nair, House in the Pine Forest, Switzerland
I love art and the snow. I wanted a house steeped in silence, as a supreme luxury. To be isolated from the world, with its thousand asperities and contradictions that seem more distant and muted in this place. I can think, ski, be with the people I love, contemplate. If I want, there is a rich social life not far from here in Saint Moritz.
But if I have chosen to be here, it is because I know there’s no difference between the power of art and that of nature. Surrounded by glass, flooded with the shimmering light that reverberates between the rocks and the snow, my house teaches me a new rhythm of life. I love beauty. I have chosen to wake up to the breath-taking view of the morning sun, like on a great stage. I surrounded myself with the most sophisticated design, the most radical yet timeless contemporary art. Carlo Mollino, Mario Merz. Like a tower, my house pays tribute to the vertical nature of the world that surrounds me.
But at the same time, it is a warm shelter. The materials are soft and natural, like a protective shell: larch, oak. If I feel like it, a sauna and a Turkish bath regenerate my body and my senses after a long solitary walk, or many hours at the computer, connected to the rest of the world. The many implements of the modern age are not an interruption to my tranquillity. Discretely, the wi-fi projects me into an immaterial realm. Like a flying carpet, an elevator in its transparent showcase slips silently through my little kingdom, like a little spaceship from which to admire the ever-changing appearance of the landscape that surrounds me.
The artists I love have always dreamed about flying, about perceiving the wonders of the world around us from different heights, perspectives, speeds. Simply get on to begin the journey. I wanted the dominant colour to be red, like the blazing sunsets that transform the snow up here into dark gold. Depending on the time of day, I can perceive the movement of the night as it slips into darkness, the dazzling reverberation of the day, the clarity of the starlit sky.
Walk down into the pine tree forest, get that sensation of rising up the mountain like a bird of prey or an expert rock climber. Leonardo would have liked contemplating from up here. A medieval artist might well have drawn a splendid bird’s eye view. For companionship, I chose a long-legged Pinocchio with whom to meld fairy tale and life.
AltaMurgia, House in quarry, Italy
Everything is mythical in this land of Puglia. Here where perhaps Homer’s heroes landed, the first high and steep landing of a different land, Italy, which like a bridge stretches out to the sea, it seems easier to understand the existence of the worlds that three divine brothers have shared.
The sea, everywhere, peeks out in the distance like a clear blue horizon, the air and the earth shake shivering in the summer mistral, while caves and cavities certainly guard the passage to the Underworld from which Proserpina rises every year, bringing spring. We thought it would be nice to look at them, these worlds, from a transparent elevator, crossing a house born from a quarry, like there are so many down here.
The search for the soft Apulia limestone that allowed the birth of an incomparable and happy Baroque has littered this flat landscape, furrowed by dry stone walls and populated by centenary olive trees. We asked ourselves how to mend, give rest. The house we have imagined clings to the rock, recognising its primordial strength. In one corner, an elevator that is tinged with ocher color like the fertile land of Puglia allows you to fly over the distant sea, the nearby land.
With this transparent tower that carries within itself the possibility of a silent and fluid movement, it seemed fascinating to us to connect contemplation and life, landscape and the pleasure of living. We designed the house as a large glass case, leaning against the wall of the quarry, as if to protect it. The elevator is discreetly housed in an external corner, without interrupting the view but giving the priceless possibility of looking at a fertile and minute landscape from above, expertly woven by the millenary hands of man.
Glass walkways connect the verticality of this silent and mobile aid to the two floors of a house that does not seek to be center of the attention nor intrusiveness, but a serene coexistence with a happy land.
Noosa Heads, House on the beach, Australia
I have never imagined it this way . On the other side of the world, of the Europe from which I come, Australia seems a paradox where everything is upside down, as in one of Calvin’s books. He had invited me many times, this man I met by chance. And arriving, it was the proportions and dimensions of things that amazed me and told me about him, about his life.
Not seas, but the blue of the ocean and a beach full of palm trees that embrace a postcard bay are the extraordinary spectacle that we admire every day. His house is completely projected towards the landscape. Indeed, when he wants it he can make it open like a large glass box simply by letting its transparent borders flow and allowing the air, the light, the scent of this shred of Paradise to embrace us completely.
Contemporary like everything that is liked down here, this house looks like a large transparent vessel eager to set sail in the warm wind, and that only a few concrete panels brake behind, anchoring it to the ground. A few design classics that we both love – the casual and American style of the Eams chairs, the unmistakable Italian elegance of the Castigliani lamps – and lots of fitness equipment keep us company on long vacation days. Even when you move, it seems afloat. Like a figurehead or a mast, an elevator that silently slides into its glass tower and is embellished with that teak with which the luxury boats are finished transports us to this world-aquarium.
Especially in the evening, when the shadow returns the enchantment of the undertow, as we go up we approach stars that we do not know in Europe, as if to guide dreams in this unknown world. I suddenly remember the great journeys we studied at school, the geographical discoveries of new continents. Maybe I’m not setting sail, but sighting new worlds from the top of this transparent mobile tower.
An outpost towards infinity that during the day makes us disembark next to an extraordinary suspended swimming pool, where we no longer perceive the boundary between the house and the ocean.
Xianggong, House on the rice paddy, China
This world of mountains and lagoons that now bounces around the world as one of the most desired tourist destinations in my country has belonged to us for generations. We have always lived by cultivating paddy fields. We know what the flow of the seasons is, the change of light and time. But only I managed to become the proud owner. It was then, when I made my father and grandfather’s dream come true, that I wanted a house from which to dominate the power of the landscape that surrounds us with my eyes.
The turmoil of tourism does not come down here. I wanted a house-observatory that, like a helix, coiled around a high lookout tower, as perhaps those who defended this land in the millenary history of China dreamed of before me. An elevator finished in bamboo runs through the 15 meters of this magical glass tower. The rooms wrap around us, and from my mobile station I can go down into rooms that in their equal transparency but different orientation give total dominion of the gaze, and a sensation in which it is difficult to distinguish power and wonder.
This extraordinary machine has the gift of silence. Not even in the evening, when the world seems to fall asleep and a deep stillness pervades nature, does it cause noise to slip towards the starry sky. Like a refined pile-dwelling, the house wraps around this ultra-modern antenna, which, like a sensor, seems to stick into the earth and reach the sky.
In homage to my land, and to the long tradition of Feng Shui in which elements and seasons, cardinal points and ancient divinatory secrets alternate, I wanted a material to continue the landscape in so much modernity, making the sensation of a privileged belonging. With my architects we have chosen bamboo, a flexible and gentle wood, resistant and millenary, so similar to our people and to the ancient civilisation of my land.