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Clardiges Foyer - 2000x1000

Claridge’s Hotel Merges Historic Elegance with Modern Contactless Technology.

Contactless Touch
Elevator Controls
Hotel Fixtures

Classical style and modern technology can work in harmony. Claridge’s hotel recently proved this when they updated their 18th century elevator with futuristic Contactless Touch technology. Now guests experience ultramodern function while enjoying a heritage that carries many tales from history.

Set in the heart of the affluent Mayfair district of West London, Claridge’s hotel is a 5-star art deco icon and a byword for understated elegance. Over the years, Claridge’s has hosted many dignitaries and famous guests, from Queen Victoria to Winston Churchill, to Audrey Hepburn to Kate Moss.

The hotel was established in 1854 and has established an unwavering reputation for elegance and grandeur. It is famed for its splendor, charm and impeccable service. After a major redevelopment in 1929 by the famous Harrods architect, Oswald Milne, the hotel’s art deco interior has been continually updated to incorporate contemporary luxuries while maintaining its classical glamour and opulence. For the hotel, every detail matters – whether it’s the vast sweeping space of the elegant 18th century Ball Room or one of the 800 pieces of handblown glass which makes up the Dale Chihuly chandelier that hangs in the grand foyer.

At the heart of Claridge’s is one room that, despite being among the smallest, is also one of its most memorable: the oldest working elevator in London. It has transported guests to and from the lobby since 1896. With its vintage scissor gate, art deco tiles, mirrors and upholstered seat, the lift provides a timeless experience for guests.

Claridge’s ambition has always been to innovate and inspire. Moving with the times, the hotel’s interior details are frequently and sensitively interwoven with modern flourishes. And the elevators around the building are no exception. With thoughtful design, the elevators have recently been equipped with state-of-the-art Contactless Touch technology so guests can call and operate them with in-air gestures.

The Challenge

Preserving the timeless elegance and unique 200-year history of Claridge’s hotel is paramount, as it is a fundamental part of its cultural patrimony. Maintaining historic architecture can be challenging when introducing modern constructions to existing buildings, where wires, mechanics and components can disrupt or destroy historical artefacts. A further challenge was incurred in early 2022 when Claridge’s wanted to update their antique elevator with modern controls. The elevator is also essential for disabled guests to access the 12 floors above. Therefore, minimum downtime during installation was also a significant factor.

Claridges Penthouse

The penthouse suite at Claridge's hotel.

The Solution

Claridge’s wanted a modern solution to allow guests to call the elevator and operate it without the need to touch commonly used buttons. In line with the hotel’s ambition to impress and inspire, they wanted a contemporary solution that would delight their guests without spoiling the original features of the 200-year-old elevator car. For the job, Claridge’s chose equipment from Dewhurst, a UK-based company with over a century of experience working in the elevator industry, who developed and delivered a first-class touchless solution with minimal disruption and maximum impact in partnership with Schindler Elevators.

For the Landing Operating Panels (LOP), Dewhurst’s Wave to Call landing unit was installed to allow guests to call the elevator from any floor without the need to touch any public surface. These touchless panels permitted the elevator to be called with a simple hand wave.

Inside the elevator, a custom solution was designed for the Car Operating Panel (COP). The new controls were developed using a combination of the Dewhurst US1 Touch Panel and HALO Touchless Car Operating System. The US1 Touch Panel was compatible with the existing Schindler elevator controls and allowed for customization of the digital screen. Dewhurst designed a stylish interface using art-deco fonts, which exhibit subtle animation when a guest selects a number. Floor selection is contactless thanks to the HALO Touchless Car Operating system, which actively monitors the area above the screen and registers calls when guests hover their finger over the floor. The touchless field is made possible with Neonode’s zForce® infrared technology housed inside the fashionable HALO casing.

The beauty of this solution was that it could be retrofitted to the elevator interior, leaving the original façade and historic features completely intact. Dewhurst also pre-wired the fixtures to overcome significant downtime during installation for a fast plug-and-play installation.

The Results

The new contactless touch elevator controls were installed in 2021 and provided a safe and contactless ride from the inside and out.

Claridges Lift

Claridge's Contactless Elevator Controls .

Learn More About Contactless Elevator Controls

About Dewhurst

Dewhurst Ltd is an independent supplier of quality components to the elevator, keypad, and rail industries. Dewhurst Ltd is part of the Dewhurst Group, which has sales of £50 million+ and employs over 350 people worldwide.

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About Claridge’s

At centre of London's Mayfair, Claridge's, part of the Maybourne Hotel Group, embodies grand English style, timeless glamour and impeccable, intuitive and highly tailored service. It is London's art deco jewel and home to elegant rooms and suites. From London's finest afternoon tea in the Foyer, Michelin star dining to vintage champagnes and cocktails at Claridge's Bar, all are part of the hotel's unique splendor and charm.