In the heart of The Battery, an emerging mixed-use development area in downtown Atlanta, the TK Elevator North America Complex by Gensler for TK Elevator Corporation is a sustainable Smart Building complete with a 420-foot-high testing tower.
TK Elevator’s Innovation and Qualification Center (The IQC), which includes the tallest elevator test tower in the United States, brings a national hub for innovation and talent to the heart of Atlanta.
Originally calling for a standard research and inspection facility located on a greenfield site in suburban Atlanta, the project team recognized the potential for heightened brand awareness and proposed placing the facility in a more high-profile urban development.
The shift in plans emboldened the client to consolidate departments from across the U.S. to create a new North American headquarters at The Battery.
The TK Elevator North America Complex has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The three-building complex featuring the Innovation and Qualification Center accommodates a diverse mix of user groups including local STEM students, business developers, corporate executives, customers, and employees.
Soaring 420 feet high, the elevator test tower’s transparent skin and open ceilings invite the public to witness the innovation at work.
A display of the intricate machinery that actively powers the test tower adds to the enticing atmosphere.
Fire-rated glass lines the elevator shaft of the ground floor lobby to showcase the technology behind TKE’s elevators.
Concrete and steel framing throughout the building lend a raw authenticity that speaks to the industrial power of the TK Elevator brand.
The IQC features a two-story showroom, sheathed in glass to offer an immersive look into the research being conducted in the adjacent qualifications lab.
A glass enclosure on the outside of the test tower holds a panoramic elevator offering scenic views of Atlanta. Next to it, TWIN panoramic elevators form an iconic fixture visible from nearby Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
The test tower is set up for a future installation of the MULTI, an elevator that runs on maglev technology to allow both vertical and horizontal navigation.
A regenerative braking system is integrated into the building to feed power consumption and recapture and reuse energy.
In addition to its title as the largest elevator test tower in North America, the IQC is also pursuing LEED Gold certification.
The complex recognized a 12% reduction in embodied carbon compared to typical construction through concrete mix optimization — using ground granulated blast furnace slag and fly ash.
This approach saved 2.36 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions.
TK Elevator also achieved more than a 40% reduction in potable water use compared to baseline buildings through the selection of efficiency flush and flow fixtures that will save 60,000 gallons of water annually.
The IQC also utilizes a Smart Building metering system, which fully integrates specialty equipment such as HVAC and lighting.
The Department of Energy estimates that a building employing this system can realize up to 45% energy savings.
Additionally, the elevators in the test tower feature energy-friendly components that feed energy back into the building.
Other energy-efficient elevator components include regenerative drives, as well as LED lights and controllers with deep-sleep or hibernation mode.
Rounding out the complex, the Business Headquarters (BHQ) houses the business support functions while the Corporate Headquarters (CHQ), located adjacent to the test tower, houses executive leadership and corporate functions such as marketing, HR, and IT research.
Project: TK Elevator North America Complex
Lead Architect: John Haba
Client: TK Elevator Corporation
General Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie LLC.
Client: TK Elevator Corporation
Photographers: Connie Zhou