Cimolai Technology protagonist of the construction of Ascent at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Cimolai Technology protagonist for the design and manufacture of a breaking project called Ascent at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt in NY

Cimolai Technology is thrilled to reveal that this year, despite the pandemic, a special project at Summit One Vanderbilt is ready to be launched on October 21st. A moment to celebrate our important achievements, aware and proud of having contributed to the development of unique works like this.


Cimolai technology_one vanderbilt_summit_NYC-Ascent


The Project

We have been engaged in the full realization process from design, manufacture, delivery and on-site installation of the two all-glass elevators called Ascent that run on the outside of the One Vanderbilt façade rising up to 1,210 feet above New York City.

Two fully transparent glass elevators that jut out from the building providing people an immersive experience and spectacular views over Manhattan, with a unique panorama of renowned buildings like Chrysler, the Empire State and Hudson Yards neighbourhood.

All this has been possible thanks to the cooperation with all the Consultants and Trade Contractors from all-around the world involved in the Summit One Vanderbilt project by SL Green Realty Corp., Owner of the building.

“The project has taken years from concept, to design of various technical solutions, to giving shape, but this work and achievement for us is absolutely unique,” said Enrico Onofri, Project Manager at Cimolai Technology.




Cimolai Technology was in charge of designing the whole cabins of the two elevators, including the drive mechanisms and the whole trackway connected and integrated with the building, from both a mechanical and an architectural point of view.

“Based on the Client specifications, we have designed the elevator system, built the cabins, installed and finally performed the on-site commissioning following the requirements of the Department of Buildings of New York City,” says Enrico. It took two years to complete the work between engineering, reviews with Consultants, several in-process changes, Covid pandemic, and the on-site organization with other contractors.

Eng. Onofri notes, “We have created an architectural work with the great performance of a special machine that only Cimolai Technology can do”.



About the elevators (Ascent)

They are rack-and-pinion elevators, installed on the world’s largest observation deck, Summit One Vanderbilt. Completely in stainless steel, the strongest available on the market, the trackway is built taking into account of the needs of customization, with very tight tolerances in order to ensure the required high performances and safety levels.



We have supplied structural glass up to 40 mm thick, equipped with an invisible heating system that guarantees an impeccable view all year round. What is so special about it? It is a cutting-edge system, which completely removes condensation on the glass and ensures the transparency of the surfaces.

In addition, the entire cabin system is designed to operate at up to 50 mph and to withstand high winds up to 100 mph (160 km/h).

The elevators start from the observation deck at a height of 330 m (about 1084 ft) and go up to 368 m (1210 ft), on nearly 40 m of trackway. Our ability was also integrating these panoramic units in the limited available space, having the least possible impact on the existing façade.


Some technical data of the elevators

The main features include:

  • machine load capacity: 10.000 lbs ( 4550 kg)
  • dimensions: Each elevator is 14 ft (4.3 m) wide, 11 ft (3.3 m) high and 9 ft (2.7 m) deep
  • weights: Each cabins weighs approximately 12 t ( 25500 lbs).
  • drive mechanisms weigh approximately 6.5 t (14 500 lbs) each
  • the entire structure (trackways) weighs approx 80 t of stainless steel (approx. 176,000 lbs)
  • rated speed: 83 ft per minute, which corresponds to 25 m/min. The slow speed guarantees the guest an immersive and more comfortable experience.