Elevator World’s 2020 Photo Contest

DateNovember-December 2020 Print

A rich, beautiful elevator world on full display

From ultraviolet-light sterilization systems to touchless apps, the vertical-transportation (VT) industry has responded admirably to the pandemic, and remarkable new innovations continue to be rolled out at a dizzying pace. In ELEVATOR WORLD’s Eighth Annual Photo Contest, COVID-19 yielded a new category: “Best Home Office During Quarantine.” In a savvy move, SnapCab marketing specialist Tim Kopistansky entered a first-place photo in that category titled “A Quiet Space at Home,” featuring a gentleman hard at work in a Workspace — a stylish, glassy, portable workstation sold and marketed by SnapCab — with an adorable canine “assistant” standing sentry. The image is very relatable, as many of us, while working from home, had furry “assistants” all too willing to “send” cryptic messages to colleagues or photobomb Zoom meetings.

The other new category was “Hoistways,” and it drew some stunning submissions, including the one from first-prize winner Johnathan Kazmierczak, office manager at Rocky Mountain Elevator Products of Grand Junction, Colorado. Kazmierczak is no stranger to EW or our photo contest. He snagged third place in last year’s contest and had multiple winning entries this year: second place in the “Best Home Office During Quarantine” category, taking the viewer inside a home office near Breckenridge, Colorado, that looks more like a resort with rough-hewn wood beams, leather furniture and a view of snow-capped mountains through an expansive window; and second place for his picture of an old freight lift in Boerne, Texas, in the “Historical & Legacy Equipment” category. His top prize in “Hoistways” shows a home elevator designed to look like an old mineshaft. The installation looks like high-end CGI created for a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s “real.”

Kazmierczak’s enthusiasm and determination was shared by other photographers. Mohammed Muhsin also had three winning entries, including first place. His photo of the Dubai Marina showing boats and construction cranes cradled in a ring of skyscrapers was in “City Skylines & Tall Buildings,” a particularly strong category in which Greg Riegler’s image of Taipei 101 at night took first place. Muhsin’s “Elevator Interior,” showing a stylish cab outfitted with gold walls and a historic photo of a woman and a young girl boarding a train took second place in the “Elevators (Commercial)” category. In “Machines & Components,” Muhsin captured an image of an elevator interior in which buttons and light fixtures look more like a moon rising over a strange, alien landscape. It took first prize in that category.

This year’s contest had 10 categories, and the number of entries — nearly 300 — was the most we’ve ever received. There were highlights throughout, such as our first-place winner in the “Who Reads EW?” category from Yasemin Bulut, president of Turkey’s Lift and Escalator Industry Women’s Business Association, for an entry titled “Future Women Elevator Technicians.” The photo shows six young ladies — elevator vocational high school students — wearing bright yellow hard hats as they peruse EWs on a pier overlooking the Bosporus strait in Istanbul.

Descriptions on the entry forms ranged in detail, often providing insight and stories in themselves. The third-place winner in “Industry Art/Illustrations” described a “completely functional elevator built by 13-year-old Jonathan Schaffer” out of K’Nex construction toys, for example.

John Antonellis of Lynn, Massachusetts-based Elevator Interior Design (EID) provided a detailed description for his “Landmark Center, Boston” entry in the “Elevators (Commercial)” category, which took third place. Antonellis said:

“EID was selected to design and build the wrought-iron atrium observation elevator cab and hoistway that was part of the renovation of The Landmark Center in Boston, a limestone and brick Art Deco building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. EID collaborated with Elkus Manfredi, Samuels & Associates, Suffolk Construction and Otis to create a one-of-a-kind architectural element and experience within the center, formerly the Sears Building.

“The challenge for EID was to create the impression of a turn-of-the-century open-grille elevator cab and hoistway conforming to current safety code requirements. EID’s team created a layered panel system that employs decorative wrought iron on one face with a support frame on the back face. Low-iron Bendheim glass is sandwiched in the middle of the structure, which, when in place, disappears, creating the illusion of an open hoistway and cab. EID also designed a discrete hinge-and-lock mechanism into each panel for housekeeping and cleaning.”

As always, our annual Photo Contest provided a window to a colorful world that included incredible skylines, architecture, VT installations and people in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dubai, NYC, San Francisco and Taipei, and countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the U.A.E. The record-breaking number of entries this year came from 23 countries, versus 17 last year. Perhaps the pandemic also had an effect on the number of people who voted. That more than doubled, to a remarkable 4,461 this year. We can’t wait for next year’s contest.