The Barrakka Lift is a key link to the old quarter of Valletta, taking tourists and commuters from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the top of a sixteenth century bastion built to guard the Maltese capital.


Valletta is an intriguing city steeped in historic tradition. The Barrakka Lift provides rapid access to the capital’s famed baroque attractions for thousands of visitors who dock at the modern cruise liner terminal in the Grand Harbour, as well as for Maltese using water taxis to cross the port. For most of the twentieth century, a much-loved elevator graced the location, but was later decommissioned and then dismantled. Increased tourist numbers in recent years made a replacement crucial. While meeting the demands of up to 800 passengers per hour, the peak after the arrival of cruise ships, the elevator design had to fit in with the ancient city and appease residents who well remember the original piece of equipment. Conservation orders stipulated the structure could not rely on support from the city fortifications to withstand the sometimes-severe waterfront weather. KONE came on board in the early stages after forming part of the consortium selected for the project. For KONE, there were two requirements to follow: meet the stringent technical specifications set by the consulting engineer, Ing Ray Spiteri, and accommodate the elevator structure’s architectural design. ”During the construction phase, we were pleased to see that the architect vision took shape as conceived,” says Konrad Buhagiar, a founding partner at Architecture Project, designers of the structure for the Barrakka Lift project. KONE also played a crucial role in technical aspects, employing extensive simulation and wind-tunnel testing to determine the suitability of the structure. This ensured the elevators can operate within some degree of deflection by strong sea winds.

  • #People flow intelligence
  • #Европа
  • #Здания особого назначения
  • #Лифты
  • #Модернизация
  • #Обслуживание

Building facts

  • Completed: 2012
  • Structure height: 58 m
  • Building owner: Government of Malta
  • Developer: Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation Plc.
  • Architect: Architecture Project
  • Consulting engineer: Ing Ray Spiteri

KONE solutions

  • 2 KONE MiniSpace™ scenic elevators
  • KONE E-Link™ monitoring system
  • KONE Care™ Maintenance Service

Barrakka Lift Tower

  • To serve a high traffic need in an outdoor setting with spectacular views, but exposed to potentially severe weather
  • To construct and install landmark elevators in a restricted space
  • Continuous project management and follow-up with multiple construction and engineering partners
  • Extensive simulation and wind-tunnel testing to meet specifi cations for weather conditions
  • Scenic elevators that offer breathtaking views in a captivating location

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