11.12.2015

A Future City Vision from Schindler

Hong Kong, 11th December 2015 – At the official opening of the Hong Kong edition of the 2015 Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Schindler Group presented to the invited guests a state-of-the-art immersive production on the urban environment of the future. This presentation will run throughout the Biennale in the Smart Cities Pavilion.

Schindler is a global provider of elevators and escalators and, as such, has participated in the rise of the modern city for over a century. But elevator companies in general have not typically been associated with urban planning itself, until now that is. Schindler’s Head of Advanced Research. Dr Paul Friedli, explains. “The current urban model owes more to the needs of vertical mobility than is immediately obvious today. A century ago when the first tall buildings were planned there was a requirement for clusters of elevators in a lobby so that operators could easily collect their passengers for the ride upwards. The resulting need to support a collection of elevator shafts led to the building core which could then be used to support floor plates and the outer cladding completed the picture. So the fundamental model for tall buildings and, by extension, the cityscapes they created, was largely driven by the elevator technology of the time. Today, with current technology, there are many more options for vertical transportation meaning many new opportunities for the structure of future cities. That is why we are so pleased to have been invited to participate in this event in order to explain to members of the architectural community the many fascinating options that await them. In this fully immersive presentation we will take you on a journey to the city of the future. It's a fascinating ride and we hope that, once you’ve taken it we will convince you of the value of these ideas for this region and beyond.” 

Schindler’s involvement at this level with the architectural community dates back about 4 years to a collaboration with ETH Zurich. This led to the awarding of a Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale for a study of Torre David in Caracas. Since then a number of associations have been formed between Schindler and the architectural profession of which this biennale is the latest.

The dome theatre, in which Schindler is presenting these ideas, is a unique environment designed by Schindler’s Transit Management Group specifically for this task. The idea is to allow the audience to truly experience what life in the city of the future could be like by immersing them in a number of distinct approaches to future construction based on a rethink of urban mobility. An original version of the movie called “Tomorrow Town” premiered in Hong Kong last year at APAC 2014 organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and generated a very enthusiastic response from all who saw it. For the biennale, a radically updated version is being presented including many scenes shot specifically in Hong Kong.