A short Q&A to begin with
Did you know the elevators and escalators throughout the Belgian pavilion are all produced by Schindler? It seems its not our first collaboration, as they were a part of the Atomium during Expo 58. The Schindler Group is a Swiss multinational company that manufactures escalators, moving walkways, and elevators worldwide, founded in Switzerland in 1874.
The Schindler elevator is a big part of our pavilion, as it is the entrance to our exhibition and immediately sets the mood when visitors enter. It's the way we move Up to the Future of Mobility in 2050. The way our exhibition encapsulates the elevator is a real crowd pleaser and a perfect photo opportunity.
We would like to introduce you to our partners by means of a short interview with them.
How was your company created?
Since our foundation in Central Switzerland in 1874, Schindler products and services have been a key feature of the urban environment. Drawing on this legacy, Schindler has been pioneering new technologies for future mobility and supporting a better quality of life in cities. We engineer vertical mobility for our customers, so that cities can continue to move efficiently, comfortably, safely, and sustainably.
What does your metier mean to you? What impact do you think it can have?
We’re much more than a provider of elevators, escalators, and moving walkways. We help to shape better cities – those of today and tomorrow – thanks to our range of smart and sustainable mobility solutions. Schindler elevators, escalators, and moving walks, transport more than 1.5 billion of us up and down buildings and across transportation hubs every day.
What do you consider to be the biggest strength of your company? Our people are by far our greatest asset. We couldn’t be in the position we’re in today without their professionalism and commitment to excellence. Schindler also stands for innovation – we’re behind some of the most exciting innovations in the industry, and we continue to invest heavily in R&D to stay at the forefront of innovation.
What exactly will you be doing for the Belgian pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai?
Schindler’s history with the Belgian pavilion extends well before the Expo 2020 Dubai. In 1958, when Brussels played host to the World Expo, we delivered escalators and elevators for the Atomium monument, the landmark building serving as the main pavilion and symbol of the International Expo in the Belgian capital.
At the time, the 100-meter-tall Atomium featured the fastest elevator with a speed of 5 meters per second, allowing visitors to reach the top of the building in a bit more than 20 seconds. The escalators in the building, for their part, were among the longest in Europe at the time, stretching 35 meters. Of course, the building still stands proudly in Brussels – and all our elevators and escalators are still in service today.
What projects do you have for the future?
We want to help build better cities – and decarbonization and digitization will play a big part in achieving that goal. Digitization provides decarbonization technologies, leading to enhanced transparency, better collaboration, and better-informed production and consumption decisions, all thanks to the insights gleaned from data. At our level, it allows us to digitize maintenance and optimize energy consumption. We can help make cities more sustainable with our technology and know-how.
Schindler & the World Expo: a long-lasting relationship
Sorry Tinder: some relationships are meant to endure the test of time.
As Dubai prepares to host World Expo 2020 – postponed by one year, courtesy of COVID – we thought it would be a good time to review our involvement with World Expos through the ages.
Ever since the launch of the first event in 1851 in London, World Expos have provided a platform for countries and companies to showcase their latest innovations. Our involvement with the World Expo event stretches all the way back to the end of the 19th century – so buckle up for a trip back in time.
1878 – Paris, France
After only four years in existence, Schindler manages to secure a spot to exhibit at the World Exposition held in the French capital – as a company, we already had international ambitions back then, and what better platform than a World Exposition to showcase what we can do?
Elevators are still nowhere in sight, though: Schindler only started producing elevators in 1880. Instead, we exhibited a state-of-the-art harvester machine, promising impressive productivity gains in a sector still heavily reliant on manual labor.
At the end of the 19th century, machines are revolutionizing agriculture – and Schindler’s knack for innovation is already shining through. We walked away with an honorable mention – not a bad achievement for a company that young.
1958 – Brussels, Belgium
After a hiatus of more than 80 years spent building up the business, we are back on the World Expo stage. This time, it is Brussels that plays host to the World Expo event. Schindler delivers escalators and elevators for the Atomium monument, a landmark building in the shape of an atom that serves as the main pavilion and symbol of the International Expo in the Belgian capital.
At the time, the 100-meter-tall Atomium featured the fastest elevator with a speed of 5 meters per second, allowing visitors to reach the top of the building in a bit more than 20 seconds. The escalators in the building were among the longest in Europe at the time, stretching 35 meters. The building still stands proudly in Brussels – and all our elevators and escalators are still in service today.
1992 – Seville, Spain
In 1992, the Andalusian city of Seville welcomed the World Expo. Schindler takes its involvement up a notch: becoming official supplier for all infrastructure pavilions, we provided a total of 70 escalators and 140 elevators – a welcome respite for the roughly 42 million visitors battling the summer heat that year.
But Schindler also left a more permanent mark on the city: the Schindler tower, a 65-meter-high observation tower, which commands greats views over the Guadalquivir River and the city of Seville. The lookout tower, built just for the exposition, remains to this day one of the most important architectural emblems of Seville. A new logo that illuminates at night has recently been emblazoned on the tower’s side – making for an even prettier sight.