How is a Glass Elevator Created?

One of the oft-requested custom designs is a glass elevator. Customers seek it out for its minimalism, versatility, and simplicity, and on a practical note, its self-contained system of a hoistway and cab proves to require less installation. Yet, customers are often surprised that glass elevators aren’t actually made out of glass. So, what are they made out of and how are they created?


While characterized by a clear, transparent design, a typical glass elevator is, in fact, made out of acrylic.

This material, used in automobiles and airplanes for many decades, gives the same aesthetic look while offering 20 times more impact resistance. An additional asset, acrylic is a UV- and scratch-resistant material.


How does acrylic eventually form the elevator you see? Custom elevator companies like Artisan create a steel hoistway and frame as the system’s backbone and incorporate clear acrylic interior and exterior panels.

Within this basic model, the elevator often features powder-coated steel for supporting and anchoring the hoistway. The manufacturer, too, designs the cab with a steel exterior frame and ceiling.


After the manufacturer puts together the visual components, the operative mechanism is what makes the elevator move.

For glass elevators, considered the paradigm contemporary design, the cab moves up the hoistway via a vacuum method. This compact and self-contained system essentially sucks the cab up to raise it, and locks it in place once it reaches the destination. Then, it lessens the pressure to lower it back down to the ground floor.

However, not every glass elevator uses a vacuum system. Artisan, depending upon the customer’s needs, has the capabilities to create a cable-driven system or even a hydraulic elevator.

Interested in having a glass elevator created to your specifications and then installed into your home? Learn about the aesthetic and functional possibilities today, and then contact our team to request a quote.

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The options for a custom elevator are seemingly endless. Our designers will work alongside you through each step of the process to customize a luxury new elevator that fits your home or business perfectly. The design begins with selection of the best motor system and ideal base for your indoor elevator.