CASE STUDY: Buckingham Palace
The Royal Household - Buckingham Palace
It is very important that the Palace is fully accessible for all our visitors, so we are sure this installation will be a large step in the right direction
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and administrative Head Quarters of the Queen and one of the most iconic British buildings in the world. Every year the Palace plays host to hundreds of thousands of visitors who travel across the globe to admire its art collections, state rooms and historic architecture. Accessibility for all is vital for any tourist attraction but in old and listed buildings - where there are many more stairs with complex curves and details’ - achieving this is often difficult.
In 2008 Buckingham Palace approached us to tender for a wheelchair access solution located in the West Wing of the Palace. This platform lift needed to enable wheelchair users to overcome a grand, curved staircase and access the entrances of the conventional passenger lifts - transporting the user from the gravel quadrangle to the Choirboy Hall. The platform lift needed to replace a model which had previously been installed and had never been fit for purpose.
THE CHALLENGE - Expectations
Expectations - A platform lift had been installed previously in the same location but was never fit for purpose. Consequently the Palace was understandably wary of a new installation that promised to overcome the many challenges and provide the durable service they were looking for.
THE CHALLENGE - Environment
Environment - As a building that holds iconic status in Britain and across the world, Buckingham Palace needed to ensure any solutions it chose were in keeping with the buildings surroundings, meaning the lift needed to be discreet and come in a range of sympathetic colours.
THE CHALLENGE - Incline
Incline - The complicated grand detail of the staircase made it difficult to calculate its exact dimensions to ensure smooth installation and operation of the lift.
THE SOLUTION - Overcoming Expectations
Overcoming expectations - We provided the Palace with a HIRO 320 Inclined Platform Lift. The lift met all the requirements of the project and successfully overcame all the challenges it posed. All HIRO products are of the highest quality and durability and the HIRO 320 Inclined Platform Lift is no exception, performing well in environments with frequent use and heavy loads. To put our clients mind at rest we tested the lifts rigorously over an hour, with them present, to prove that the product lived up to its praise.
THE SOLUTION - Fitting in with the environment
Fitting in with the environment - The HIRO Inclined Platform Lift range comes in an option of 7 different RAL colours enabling the lift to blend in with its’ surroundings. The fold-up facility of the HIRO 320 platform – automatically folding up at the press of a button - also ensures the lift is discreet when dormant.
THE SOLUTION - Measuring the Incline
Measuring the Incline – We designed the lift with our staircase photography measurement system (photogrammetry). With this system we were able to tackle the grand detail of the staircase and produce CAD Drawings precise to 0.079mm, on which the lift was deigned, ensuring a smooth installation and operation of the platform lift.
Our skilled team provided Buckingham Palace and the Royal Household with a solution that overcame all the challenges of the project - delivering them a quality, user- friendly platform lift in keeping with the buildings surroundings. 4 years later, unlike its predecessor, the HIRO 320 Inclined Platform lift is still performing under the pressure of constant use - providing a safe, compliant solution for all wheelchair users and ensuring the splendour of the Palace is truly accessible to all.