Disabled access in the Forefront – Platform Lifts
Since 1995, and the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), architects and structural engineers have made sure disabled access is one of the top considerations in the design of buildings.
Due to the lavish history of our country and the architecture that supports it, many of our public buildings have had to be updated.
The Casino at The Empire in Leicester Square is one example of a place used by the public frequently and needed to be able to cater confidently with the constant droves of people that visit it, including a guaranteed number who are disabled.
They recently took the move to install platform lifts for the disability impaired. Giving the disability impaired access to all the casino’s amenities, four strategically placed platform lifts have been installed.
The casino is split into two floors, with animated bars, fashionable restaurants, state of the art electronic games included into this, as well as the casino. Due to this, it was very important the venue had disabled access, so all visitors to the casino could enjoy its many attractions.
On top of this, because of the superb location and what it offers, The Casino at The Empire is also promoting itself as a perfect venue for private and corporate events, making it even more vital access was available to all.
The Casino was designed by Paul Steelman Design, who is one of the best interior designers of casinos from Las Vegas, making it very retro and glamorous. This meant the platform lifts that were to be built in, had to complement the ritzy image of the casino.
Due to the building being in a conservation area, there are a few issues, however, it is only the façade which is protected, meaning the inside could actually be stripped back to its original brickwork. This meant the platform lifts didn’t have to worry so much in terms of architecture, but still had to be aesthetically pleasing.
In the end, it was decided, a platform lift was needed that wouldn’t require the building to need massive alterations structurally. This not only ends up as an easier job with regards to what the architects and interior designers want but also as a more cost-effective solution.
The best lift to fit this bill is The Type A platform lift, supplied by The Platform Lift Company. The lift is DDA compliant, and doesn’t require a machine room and comes with its own shaft, making it unique from other platform lifts.
This meant the one hour fire rated or glazed shafts could be simply erected by just cutting a 50mm pit in the floor, instead of digging down into the building’s foundations, creating a large pit for the lift.
The Casino at The Empire’s logo is found glass fronted doors and on the glazed shaft, and The Platform Lift Company have fashioned a non-claustrophobic and light ambiance for those using the lift. The platform lifts fit naturally into the contemporary surroundings and blend into the interior without intruding the decor.
Managing Director of the Platform Lift Company, Sean O’Sullivan, said of the project: “Removing the architectural barriers to enable more buildings to become DDA compliant is a challenge especially when the interior has a particular style or the building is listed.
However, designs are now becoming more elegant and tasteful so that they can become a feature rather than an unsightly object,”
There are four platform lifts at The Casino at The Empire and even an independent step lift. These have meant access is easy for all, including the staff who work on these premises and also means the venue, which promises to treat all guests like a VIP, can do just that and improve the experience for the disability impaired.