Sorry Tinder: some relationships are meant to endure the test of time.
As Dubai prepares to host World Expo 2020 – postponed by one year, courtesy of COVID – we thought it would be a good time to review our involvement with World Expos through the ages.
Ever since the launch of the first event in 1851 in London, World Expos have provided a platform for countries and companies to showcase their latest innovations. Our involvement with the World Expo event stretches all the way back to the end of the 19th century – so buckle up for a trip back in time.
1878 – Paris, France
After only four years in existence, Schindler manages to secure a spot to exhibit at the World Exposition held in the French capital – as a company, we already had international ambitions back then, and what better platform than a World Exposition to showcase what we can do?
Elevators are still nowhere in sight, though: Schindler only started producing elevators in 1880. Instead, we exhibited a state-of-the-art harvester machine, promising impressive productivity gains in a sector still heavily reliant on manual labor.
At the end of the 19th century, machines are revolutionizing agriculture – and Schindler’s knack for innovation is already shining through. We walked away with an honorable mention – not a bad achievement for a company that young.
1958 – Brussels, Belgium
After a hiatus of more than 80 years spent building up the business, we are back on the World Expo stage. This time, it is Brussels that plays host to the World Expo event. Schindler delivers escalators and elevators for the Atomium monument, a landmark building in the shape of an atom that serves as the main pavilion and symbol of the International Expo in the Belgian capital.
At the time, the 100-meter-tall Atomium featured the fastest elevator with a speed of 5 meters per second, allowing visitors to reach the top of the building in a bit more than 20 seconds. The escalators in the building were among the longest in Europe at the time, stretching 35 meters. The building still stands proudly in Brussels – and all our elevators and escalators are still in service today.
1992 – Seville, Spain
In 1992, the Andalusian city of Seville welcomed the World Expo. Schindler takes its involvement up a notch: becoming official supplier for all infrastructure pavilions, we provided a total of 70 escalators and 140 elevators – a welcome respite for the roughly 42 million visitors battling the summer heat that year.
But Schindler also left a more permanent mark on the city: the Schindler tower, a 65-meter-high observation tower, which commands greats views over the Guadalquivir River and the city of Seville. The lookout tower, built just for the exposition, remains to this day one of the most important architectural emblems of Seville. A new logo that illuminates at night has recently been emblazoned on the tower’s side – making for an even prettier sight.
2021 – Dubai, UAE
And now all eyes are on Dubai.
In October 2021, the sleepy fishing village turned sprawling metropolis will kick off six months of World Expo festivities. This is the first time that a country from the United Arab Emirates hosts the Expo, and Schindler is proud to be the official sponsor of the Swiss Pavilion, alongside Swiss watchmaker Rolex. The Swiss Pavilion will showcase surprising aspects of Switzerland's culture, nature and innovation – with Schindler at the heart of it.