Also known as stairs that move, today’s escalator seems as revolutionary a concept as vending machines, barely more exciting than coin-operated pay phones. Slowly and diagonally, they move pedestrians up toward destinations with indeterminate reward—like a second-floor Gap. Frequently central pieces of architecture, escalators climb stories with ease, but they’re often eyesores. A handful of designs, however, take the necessary model to the next level. Practical can be pretty, and worthy of a runway—or at the very least, a stunning step up.
Atomium (Brussels, Belgium)
Fondaco dei Tedeschi (Venice, Italy)
Public (New York City)
Ginza Six (Tokyo, Japan)
Zollverein Coal Mine (Düsseldorf, Germany)
Hudson Hotel (New York City)
The Natural History Museum (London)
Toledo Station (Naples, Italy)
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