Customised Alimak Hoist On World’s Biggest Wheel - Verdict Designbuild
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Customised Alimak Hoist On World’s Biggest Wheel

Alimak’s Scando passenger hoist provided the solution for reaching the hub of the world’s biggest wheel, the 165m high ‘Singapore Flyer’, with a special customised cage.

Throughout construction of the world’s biggest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer, subcontractor UTOC called for the help of a purpose-customised Alimak hoist to ensure safe access to the wheels hub for installation of essential cables and wiring.

Reaching a height of 165m – the equivalent of a 42-storey tower – the wheel features 28 air-conditioned cars each designed to carry up to 30 passengers.

A complete rotation of the wheel is expected to take an estimated 37 minutes and offer spectacular views of Singapore’s city centre and approximately 45 km beyond.

The development has a building area of 16,000m² built on a 33,700m² site along Singapore’s Marina Promenade and includes an open-air, Greek-inspired theatre on the waterfront.


The 150m diameter observation wheel sits between two pylons installed at an angle of 2° within a three storey terminal building at the base. This will contain tourist-related speciality shops and entertainment outlets.

The Alimak hoist provided the access for workers to the hub of the ‘wheel’ to install essential cabling and wiring.

With the hoist mast installed against one of the two pylons, it was found that the close proximity of the three storey buildings overhanging roof blocked the passage of a standard Scando 10/20 hoist.

UTOC therefore placed the order, through Alimak Singapore, for a smaller customised car featuring a floor area of 1m width x 2m length and 3m high.

The car also incorporated a special platform measuring 1.5m width x 1m long x 2.3m high, to ensure safe access from the car across to the hub, where, the contractor had installed its own internal platform.

The Alimak system had a maximum load of 1000kg; approximately eight passengers.

Main contractor for the ‘Flyer’ is Takenaka and the structural engineers Ove Arup Singapore. The projects architect is Kisho Kurokawa Architects and Associates working together with DP Architects of Singapore.


In addition to the three storey building, the landscaped site also contains roof gardens and a recreated rainforest within the atrium.

An open bus park for 40 buses is located behind the building and an underpass connects to a multi-storey car park for 300 vehicles.

With the final car recently installed, the Flyer is expected to be operational by March 2008. It is estimated it will attract 2.5 million visitors in its first year of operation.

The reign as ‘biggest wheel’ is expected to be shortened however with completion of a 208m high wheel in Beijing for the summer Olympics in 2008.

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