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A 47-story Spanish skyscraper forgets the elevator

Posting in Cities

In China they're building the second-tallest skyscraper in the world with the world's fastest elevators, stark contrast with Spain where, apparently, elevators in skyscrapers can't be taken for granted.

At least not in The Intempo skyscraper in Benidorm, Spain, according to Gizmodo's Jamie Condliffe:

Initially designed to be a mere 20 storeys tall, the developers got over-excited and pushed the height way up: now it boasts 47 storeys, and will include 269 homes.

But that push for more accommodation came at a cost. The original design obviously included specifications for an elevator big enough for a 20-storey building. In the process of scaling things up, however, nobody thought to redesign the elevator system—and, naturally, a 47-storey building requires more space for its lifts and motor equipment. Sadly, that space doesn't exist.

Ouch. Can we assume there are at least stairs?

It's hardly a surprise though. The project has had its share of issues from the builder going bankrupt in 2009 (when the project was originally supposed to be completed) to an elevator collapse that injured several workers. And while the tower is 94 percent complete with a new projected end date of December 2013, only 35 percent of apartments have been sold, El Pais reports.

The project is part of a skyscraper-building boom in the city, earning it the nickname "Beniyork." But it hardly seems to be following a similar trajectory as New York.

Instead, as El Pais points out, the project is a good symbol for the country's economy, just not the way it was intended. "The building meant to symbolize an era is just that - a symbol for an era of excess."

Read more: Gizmodo, El Pais

Photo: Flickr/wwilliamm

— By on August 8, 2013, 6:28 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure