Case Study: View Tube, London: ​A Midilift SL platform lift helps bring people closer to the 2012 Olympics

The View Tube is an eco-friendly social enterprise and community centre with the best views of the Olympic Park as it gears up for the planet’s biggest sporting event: the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Made from recycled shipping containers and finished in shocking lime green, it perches on top of a hill located on the Greenway, a traffic-free haven for pedestrians, cyclists and wildlife in Stratford, East London. It is also the quirkiest location yet for a Stannah Midilift SL platform lift.

View Tube overview

Designed and built by Urban Space Management, the View Tube is a partnership project between Leaside Regeneration, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, the Olympic Delivery Authority and Thames Water. Combining education, relaxation and recreation areas, it is also home to the Container Cafe, named in Time Out as ‘one of London’s best secret cafés’.

Sustainable in design and construction, the View Tube is a two-storey structure made from fifteen recycled shipping containers totalling 4,219 square feet. It also sports numerous other eco-features such as motion sensor controlled lighting, low energy light bulbs, and solar controlled glass and weather compensation controlled heating.

The whole project was managed by Leaside Regeneration which is also responsible for the ongoing management of the View Tube. It is part of their vision for the regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley and surrounding area of East London into a new ‘Water City’.

“Stannah has contributed to the development and success of the View Tube – for the local community and beyond. Not only is the Midilift SL helping everyone access our first storey facilities – especially the Olympic Park viewing balcony – but their generous donation towards our landscaping will certainly help showcase this unusual container-built community centre, making the whole View Tube experience even more enjoyable. Thank you, Stannah!”
Rosie Murdoch, View Tube Manager

Stannah – the preferred lift supplier

Once again, Stannah Lifts was first choice for Urban Space Management, the London-based company responsible for the design and build of the View Tube.

It showcases their Container City™ system of innovative and highly versatile solutions to stylish and affordable accommodation for a range of uses such as office space, retail space, artist studios, nurseries, youth centres and live/work spaces. Shipping containers are linked together to provide high strength, prefabricated steel modules that can be combined to create a wide variety of building shapes and adapted to suit most planning or end-user needs. This modular technology enables construction times and cost to be reduced by up to half that of traditional building techniques while remaining significantly more environmentally friendly.

USM has used Stannah on the majority of their quirky, cost-effective and sustainable regeneration projects. Project Manager, Ebru Buyuksural, allowed for a Stannah Midilift SL at design stage, so installation was straightforward. Build was swift and took only three months for the fifteen used shipping containers from China to be cleaned, fitted and craned onto site.

Midilift SL – the preferred lift

In use since the View Tube opened in November 2009, a Midilift SL has brought easy access to the first floor for all visitors and staff who would find it difficult to use the stairs. Operating over a distance of 2900mm, everyone can enjoy the upper-floor facilities such as the education area and the viewing balcony with its panorama of the Olympic Park, the Velodrome, Aquatics Centre and Stratford City.

Supplied within a structure-supported enclosure, the Midilift SL does not require a purpose-built lift shaft or lifting beam, so installation was straightforward, taking just five days from fitting to commissioning. Simple and safe to operate it has a rated load of 400kg (4 persons). The platform is controlled by constant pressure buttons and has a maximum travel of 5m at a speed of circa 0.08m/s.

A range of optional extras ensures maximum design and performance flexibility to suit any application. As with all Stannah passenger and platform lifts, the Midilift SL ensures that the View Tube’s owners meet with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Supporting green fingers

Not only has Stannah helped the View Tube prepare for the upcoming Olympic & Paralympic Games by providing an accessible venue, but it has also supported the community gardening project. A generous donation towards the onsite garden has helped ensure that visitors to the Container Café will be rewarded with home-grown herbs and vegetables in their freshly prepared dishes.

To counteract the strong winds that buffet this hilltop area, artist Lisa Cheung, has created dramatic solutions for the assorted raised beds. Lisa is also working with Clare Hillman from Groundwork and Cairis Hickey from London Wildlife Trust to develop a group of volunteer gardeners to help create and maintain this complementary resource.