The city of Vitoria, in the north of Spain, has an exceptional medieval old town, situated on a hill. In 2012, a competition for the improvement of accessibility from the modern districts to the Cathedral area was called. The City Council raised the need to install two sections of mechanical ramps and an elevator.
The draft prepared by Tabuenca & Leache Architects planned to place ramps displaced to the south side of the street to keep some of the current steps and promote the views of users towards the facades of the gardens and palaces of the north side. When installing the volume of mechanical ramps on the pavement, glass balustrades are only visible.
At the eastern end a new staircase is projected, which collects pedestrian traffic to the Cathedral.
The new urban elevator is available next to the apse of the old seminary. It is attached to the stone wall of the staircase. The other sides and the cabin are completely glazed, with extra-clear self cleaning glass. The objective was to lighten the visual presence of the elevator volume and offer user safety. The metal structure of the elevator, reduced to its essentials, is stainless steel patinated bronze.
For the new staircase and its walls used the same type of calcarenite stone that historical buildings in the city. All other paving is resolved with porphyry Trentino.