The FlexStep morphs from a staircase into a wheelchair lift, offering a space saving 2-in-1 solution for commercial and residential projects, as two case studies reveal
The FlexStep stair lift functions as an ordinary staircase and as a lift. Designed for pedestrians and wheelchair users alike, it is an innovative 2-in-1 solution that saves space compared to installing both a flight of stairs and a separate lift.
The FlexStep lift has been around for more than 15 years and has been installed in numerous locations in the UK and around the world.
Case study 1: FlexStep at Leeds Castle, Kent
Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent was built in 1119 and, in the 13th century, was home to King Edward I. In the 16th century it was used by Henry VIII for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. The castle has been open to the public since 1976.
Away from the main castle buildings stand the more recent additions of a gift shop and restaurant. As the restaurant is accessed via steps, it was not possible to provide access for those with impaired mobility or parents with pushchairs. Although the building is relatively new, the rules regarding what could and could not be changed were strict.
Installation of a FlexStep and fixed stairs solved the issue. Both stairs have the same design, but the fixed stairs have no motors and a divider between the lift and fixed stairs was added. The fixed staircase had a balustrade to one side only - as opposed to ordinary staircases - due to width restrictions. A simple handrail was fixed to the opposite wall to overcome this. The FlexStep was installed by UK distributor Level Access Lifts, Southampton.
Case study 2: FlexStep at a private residence in Denmark
When Søren Top had a blood clot that left him paralysed on the left side and confined to a wheelchair, he and his wife Birthe became aware of the challenges of living in their two-storey 19th-century house.
Between the original building and a rear building there was a staircase with three steps that made the rear building inaccessible for Søren. The local municipality initially suggested a ramp, but the couple were not keen on the solution.
Instead, they chose to install a FlexStep because it could be adapted more easily to their home. 'It means a lot to us that we are able to keep our house more or less as it was, despite the big sudden changes in our lives,' says Birthe.
The steps in their FlexStep are covered with granite tiles that match the flooring. 'Guests just think it is an ordinary staircase,' explains Birthe, 'and don't realise that it also serves as Søren's wheelchair lift.'
To configure a FlexStep with your own individual specifications, visit liftup.dk/lpc to use the Liftup Product Configurator and have a 3D drawing sent to your inbox.
For more information and technical support, visit liftup.co.uk/flexstep
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