A Fully Functioning Office Built Inside an Elevator

Tom Scott visited the Bata Skyscraper in the Czech Republic city of Zlín, where in 1938, shoemaker Jan Antonín Bata built his office inside the elevator of the building.

The Bata Skyscraper, in Zlín, Czechia, is a landmark of architecture. And the office of Jan Antonín Bata… is an elevator.

The building was fairly technologically advanced for its time. It had a functioning HVAC system, a doorless paternoster lift system, and a fully furnished office for the boss.

And the boss has a corner office on every floor. Because the boss’s office… is an elevator. …This elevator was built by Otis, the American elevator company, for Jan Antonín Ba?a, the head of the company. …and the furnishings don’t add that much weight.It does have a few extra features: two telephones, one for local calls and one for international; plus separate lighting and air conditioning…But the bit that surprised me was the sink.How is there hot and cold running water, and a drain, in a moving elevator?

It turns out it was a simple tank system with water that was periodically changed.

…actually there’s just a water tank above and a wastewater tank below and every so often maintenance would fill that one and empty that one because sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Elevator Office