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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the rise of the elevator from the mid-nineteenth century onwards and its ramifications for the organization, perception, and imagination of multi-storey buildings. The early history of the elevator is of particular interest because it resides, as it were, in the gap between an old and a new organization of space, and registers its very points of transition. To reconstruct the elevator’s medial and organizational power, four main problem areas are identified: ‘breaches’, ‘hierarchies’, ‘controls’, and ‘interiors’. These areas address the specific verticality of the elevator building, the new hierarchical order of the storeys, the development of control elements, and the hermetic space of the elevator cabin.

Keywords: elevator, grand hotel, attic, penthouse, roof garden, urbanization, metropolis, organization, space

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