Getting ‘high’

As buildings become taller, elevators run faster to efficiently transfer people from floor to floor.

For a restaurant like 123F Lounge at the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, faster elevators are but only logical and practical for the convenience of its customers. The tower is the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest building in the world, CNN reported, citing the Lounge’s official site.

The 555-meter-high skyscraper’s 61 high-speed, double-decker elevators can take diners to the restaurant on the 123rd floor in just one minute with its lifts’ speed of 10 meters per second. Once on the top floor, diners can enjoy 123F Lounge’s pricey beef stew, steak, and other dishes while watching the spectacular sunset or the Han River below through the restaurant’s window walls stretching up to the high ceiling, according to CNN.

The fast elevators can also take visitors to the 117th floor in 52 seconds and take a sweeping 360-degree view of the metropolis and Namsan mountain at the Seoul Sky observatory. There’s also the glass floor on the Sky Deck on the 118th floor and an outdoor balcony at the Sky Terrace on the 120th floor.

Some elevators directly offer spectacular views. The glass Bailong Elevators in one of the cliffs of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan, China also serve as the viewing deck for the tourist site’s stunning karst pillars.

The three Bailong Elevators are unique for being the world’s tallest outdoor elevator and gateway to the world’s tallest bungee jump located at the famous Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, which is among the park’s top attractions.

Controversy hounded the construction of the elevators with oppositors complaining of damage to the natural scenery.
Safety was also a concern as each Bailong Elevator can carry 46 passengers to the top of a 326-meter-tall mountain in less than two minutes. The large passenger capacity is made possible by the double-decker design of the lifts.

When it started operations, the lifts were halted for three months as its demolition was discussed. It was reactivated 10 months later, CNN said.

Safety concerns seems to have died down since the Bailong Elevators have been in operation for 20 years without incident. During the period, the elevators carried more than 60 million tourists.

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