AH Asociados, a Spanish architecture firm, designed a steel and glass elevator to connect the city of Pamplona, Spain, with the surrounding suburb of Echavacoiz Norte, which is located on a hill. The city had experienced problems with accessibility between the two areas because of their 30-meter difference in elevation. The two areas had previously been connected by a pedestrian ramp and stairs, but city planners wanted to improve accessibility between the city and suburb.
The new outdoor elevator juts out from the top of a hill and offers a panoramic view of Pamplona and the surrounding area. The design also incorporates new roads for pedestrians and cyclists.
Pedestrians approaching the elevator tower cross a footbridge to the transparent elevator shaft. The elevator and footbridge are both covered with sheet steel plates to provide visual continuity. A section of the footbridge extends beyond the base and creates an image of an arcade opening to the new neighborhood.
The shape of the footbridge comes from a continuous beam that includes the support of the pavement, which is made of sheet metal plates. The footbridge is asymmetrical to protect pedestrians from wind and allow for views of the surrounding area.
The architects wanted to create a clear structure with a formal and simple design. They wanted the elevator and footbridge to serve as a reference, a gate, and a connection between the Pamplona and the surrounding neighborhood so that they would no longer be separated by the hills.