HULL, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2002--From a vantage point reminiscent of the panoramic bow of Captain Nemo's "Nautilus," the legendary submarine of Jules Vern's classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," passengers in a glass-enclosed elevator experience a 360-degree view of the exotic underwater world - coming face to face with menacing sharks, moray eels and thousands of other species of sea life.
In the watery depths of the world's only "Submarium," here on England's North Sea coast in a tourist attraction called "The Deep," an Otis elevator rises like a bubble of air in a 10-meter (33 feet) deep aquarium that opened in March in Kingston on Hull. Otis Elevator Company is a unit of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX).
The Deep, the city of Hull's landmark millennium project, consists of four elements - visitor attraction, business center, lifelong learning center and research facility - housed in two buildings set around the aquarium, which holds 2.3 million liters (600,000 gallons) of water.
The Deep features an exotic array of marine life and an Otis elevator ride that gives visitors an under water view of roving sharks, hogfish, green moray eels and thousands of other fish circling the transparent Italian-designed elevator cab.
"We were presented with a challenging opportunity of designing, developing and installing a vertical transportation system that allows visitors to view life under water," said Didier Michaud, managing director of Otis United Kingdom. "It was an unusual request for which our engineers found the perfect solution."
The elevator system was developed and incorporated into The Deep building designed by award-winning English architect Sir Terry Farrell.
"Otis engineers did a fine job of creating this unique transportation system and the elevator journey is now part of the overall experience of visiting the submarium," said Farrell.
The custom-designed panoramic elevator, with a curved acrylic wall and bubble top, was installed in 18 weeks. The system has a load capacity of 1,350 kilograms (2,970 pounds) and travels at a comfortable 1.0 meter per second (200 feet per minute). Tourists enter the cab at bottom, or ground level, of the aquarium. As the cab rises to the top, it pauses halfway to give riders a chance to observe the fascinating underwater world.
The Hull Millennium Commission raised the funding for the 45.5 million pound (US $65 million) Deep Millennium Project. Construction for the project was handled and managed by Bovis Lend Lease, a long-time strategic partner of Otis and Otis UK's largest new equipment customer. The underwater elevator system was part of a larger five-elevator unit Otis contract.
Otis Elevator Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, is the world's largest manufacturer and maintainer of people moving products, including elevators, escalators, shuttle systems and moving walkways. Headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut, USA, Otis employs more than 60,000 people, offers products and services in more than 200 countries and territories and maintains more than 1.2 million elevators and escalators worldwide.