Case Study: Stannah moves in hedonistic circles? You bet!

Following a £40 million restoration of the Hippodrome Casino, fourteen Stannah lifts are helping clientele, crew and cargo navigate the five floors of this Grade II listed iconic London landmark.

Bursting on the entertainment scene in 1900 as London’s leading theatre, the Hippodrome became famous for Spielberg-of-the day spectacles such as swimming elephants, high-diving midgets and Venetian-style gondolas. Over the years, it became something of a quick-change artiste and acquired a purple timeline to include The Talk of the Town, Stringfellow’s Nightclub, Cirque at the Hippodrome and adult cabaret ‘La Clique’ at The Hippodrome.

Today, this Grand Old Lady of the West End struts her latest stuff as a 24/7 gambling and entertainment siren with a seductive ‘no-membership-charge – just-walk-in’ welcome where visitors can revel in three gambling floors, five bars, the Top Deck poker floor, two-tier smoking terrace, cabaret theatre, and the 1st-floor Heliot restaurant, bar and lounge. Eponymously inspired by Claire Heliot, an original 19th-century performer who fed raw meat to lions on stage, this high-energy eatery hosts spectacular views of the main gambling arena below.

The Stannah challenge

Although the Hippodrome Casino is a Grade II listed building, Stannah rose to the challenge of moving customers, staff and goods stylishly and efficiently around its arcades without compromising its English Heritage status. Fourteen lifts later and the Hippodrome Casino has a healthy circulation system bringing access for everyone and everything to all key areas.

The Stannah cast

The Star – a 5-person, 357kg hydraulic scenic bespoke lift:

Installed in an existing lift shaft and retaining the original 1930s-style surround, this lift travels from the ground floor over 4-stops and is primarily for VIP use. Additional finer mesh was added to ensure optimum safety, within which is a modern, all-glass lift car with no lift workings showing within the shaft. This is achieved with direct-acting hydraulics using a telescopic ram to facilitate a reduced overall length to the piston that goes through the basement and into a small borehole (1470mm deep). Below this is Leicester Square station.

Specification details:

  • New satin black powder coated architrave between existing steel work and door frame
  • Existing lift well enclosure steelwork retained
  • New glass landing entrance doors with satin stainless steel trim
  • Laminated safety glass walls
  • New LCD floor position indicator in satin brass plate
  • Satin brass landing push station
  • Internal car push station satin black powder coated with B50R gold buttons
  • Local toe guards at each landing entrance
  • New tee section guide rails fixed to existing staircase structure
  • Satin black powder coated exterior car cladding
  • Retro-fitted existing wire mesh screen retained
  • Existing staircase balustrade retained
  • 700mm clear opening on landing doors
  • 1150mm x 1480mm existing plumb well
  • 784mm x 1130mm interior car

The Double-act – a duplex of Xtralifts:

Designed to carry up to 13 passengers (1000kg) over 5 floors, these stretcher-style lifts feature through-car entrances. Complementing the surroundings, the walls are finished in decorated glass with impressive ceilings and floors.

These oil- and vibration-free gearless traction drive lifts are ideal for moving large numbers of people quickly and safely – ideal for this 24/7 venue. Manufactured to comply with EN 81-1, UKCA marked and in full compliance with The Lift Directive 95/16/EC, they are supplied with a modular structure for maximum ease of installation.

The Support Acts

Xtralift: Sitting beside the duplex lifts is an additional Xtralift (same size and format). This lift is currently used as a dedicated attendant-controlled goods lift serving back-of-house. Finished in resilient satin stainless steel, it plays a crucial role in the deceptively calm environment of this busy, 24-hour venue.

13-person bespoke passenger lift: Situated immediately inside the Little Newport Street side entrance and leading directly from the China Town district of London, this through-car lift, with adjacent entrances, features customised decorated glass wall panels.

The Community Player – a Midilift SL platform lift: In appreciation of the local China Town community’s forbearance during building works, the developer donated a Stannah platform lift to their community centre to improve access over three floors. For maximum convenience, the Midilift SL platform lift operates from directly inside the front door.

The Behind-the-scene Stealers

Midilift: Supplied in a structure-supported enclosure – no lifting beam required – the Midilift was installed swiftly and easily with a maximum travel of 7m.

Bespoke platform lift: A customised lift that makes light work of a change in levels in the busy back-of-house area.

Stairiser wheelchair platform lift: Thanks to the addition of a Stairiser inclined platform lift, poker-loving wheelchair-users can easily navigate the stairs to the Top Deck poker suite high above the main gaming floor.

The Micro-managers

- Of taste

Two sets of two 50A Microlifts operate in tandem behind the scenes of the Heliot Restaurant and several other public and private dining areas on different floors, these dumbwaiter service lifts optimise service by ferrying food, drink and tableware between dining areas and the kitchens:

2 x side-by-side 50A Microlifts – finished in stainless steel with a heated cabin in one lift, serving first, second and third floors.

2 x side-by-side 50A Microlifts – finished in stainless steel with a heated cabin in one lift, serving basement, ground and first floors.

- Of money

A 50 Microlift ‘cashwaiter’ operates between the basement and ground floor levels collecting the proceeds from the gaming floors – quite a unique use for Stannah’s workhorse service lift that has been known to move just about everything over the years. A durable grey baked enamel finish protects both the lift and its contents.

“This was a challenging retro-fit project to a tight deadline in the run-up to the London Olympics and Stannah really rose to the challenge. In particular, finding a solution to restoring our caged lift with a totally glass lift car, with no visible workings in the shaft, was a triumph. All the lifts blend within their surroundings and perform the essential job of moving people and goods seamlessly about our building. Having a single lift supplier for all fourteen lifts made logistic and economic sense. It was an excellent decision.”
Hippodrome Casino spokesperson

Direction and production

The whole project was managed by the Stannah Major Projects team, a phalanx of specialists working closely with developers, architects and contractors to provide a package of lifts that maximises the flow of people and goods within buildings.

Maintenance crew

All the lifts will be maintained by the London and South East branches of Stannah Lift Services, part of a nationwide network of lift support for Stannah and most other lift product suppliers.

Stannah Lift Services maintain more than 83,000 lift products nationwide; all types of lifts from all manufacturers. In addition to maintenance, Stannah carries out lift refurbishments and installs new bespoke lifts, escalators and moving walkways, sometimes in the most challenging environments.

The Stannah promise

Stannah is committed to delivering:

  • The best quality products
  • Superior service
  • Good value for money
  • And, last but not least, complete reliability

All backed by a 150-year lift manufacturing pedigree.