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I’ll take the stairs

Are lifts set to be the new ladies’ loos of buildings? I ask because I went back to Tate Modern, this time on a weekend and went up to the observation deck – you know, the one where everybody peers into the billionaires’ flats, and Nick Serota tells them to get net curtains?

Are lifts set to be the new ladies’ loos of buildings? I ask because I went back to Tate Modern, this time on a weekend and went up to the observation deck – you know, the one where everybody peers into the billionaires’ flats, and Nick Serota tells them to get net curtains?

When I say ‘went up’ I mean ‘mostly walked up’. We took the lift to the fourth floor, where all the lifts go to, and then walked to the 10th. Which of course is quite a healthy thing to do, but we weren’t doing it for the good of our health. It was nigh on impossible to get in the lifts that went all the way to the top.

These aren’t the stairs at Tate Modern, but a good stand in for the long walk: 

There was near mayhem on the way down, as a couple with a toddler and a pushchair tried to get in on the ninth floor. Nobody would make room for them (my excuse – we were at the back of the lift). 

So is this going to be a trend? Did nobody realise how popular the viewing platform would be? The Telecom Tower has utterly inadequate lifts, which may be one reason why it is only opened for private events, but it has the physical restriction of having to fit them into an insanely slender stem.

I remember trying to visit Foster’s Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt while it was still under construction, and there was a chronic shortage of lifts for the construction workforce, but I don’t think that translated to the finished building.

Once there were buildings constructed without enough ladies loos, and inevitable queues. Will a lack of lifts be the next thing?

Ruth Slavid

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