A common roadblock when making a commercial entrance or change in level accessible is making it accessible while still keeping the architectural integrity. Many times ramps can be installed which can easily be made to look appeasing. Platform lifts on the other hand can look very mechanical and garish. There are many ways to make platform lifts look stylish which I have wrote about before (read those articles here and here). But there is another problem, space. A small or narrow entrance could have room for stairs but no room for a platform lift. What to do then? How about hiding the platform lift under the stairs. Yes you read that right because it can be done with the Sesame Retractable Stairs and platform lift from the U.K.
When I first saw the pictures of this product I was pretty taken aback and I believe the word “Whoa!” was immediately exclaimed. I mean you have have stairs that match the look of other stairs but they roll back under the landing to expose a platform lift. Definitely some secret passage-like stuff.
Basically here’s how everything works. When a user approaches the stairs either from the top or bottom, the stairs will begin to retract like bleacher stairs in a high school gym. If at the bottom, the user goes on to the platform and edge protection shoots up the sides. A control panel can also shoot up at this time. Once the platform is at the top, a gate will open or a railing guard will go into the ground. After use the platform goes back down, the stairs come back out.
Different materials can be used for the stair surfaces to match the surrounding design. Stones, marble, concrete, or wood can all be used. Different stairway platform configurations can be accommodated for. Just look at the pictures and you can what I’m talking about.
While not practical for every building because I’m sure the costs are astronomical, the Sesame Stairs are simply amazing. Watch the videos below to see the stairs in action and for more information visit www.SesameAccess.com and their Facebook page.