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A sky lobby is an intermediate interchange floor where people can change from an express elevator that stops only at the sky lobby to a local elevator which stops at every floor within a segment of the building. When designing very tall (supertall) buildings supplying enough elevators is a problem – travellers wanting to reach a specific higher floor may conceivably have to stop at a very large number of other floors on the way up to let other passengers off and on. This increases travel time, and indirectly requires many more elevator shafts to still allow acceptable travel times – thus reducing effective floor space on each floor for all levels. (The other main technique to increase usage without adding more elevator shafts is double-deck elevators.)
John Hancock Center
The John Hancock Center's sky lobby on the 44th floor serves only the residential portion of the building that occupies floors 45–92. Three express elevators run from the residential lobby on the ground floor to the 44th floor, with two of the elevators stopping at the parking garage's main level on floor 6. At floor 44, residents transfer to two banks of three elevators. One bank serves floors 45–65 and the other serves 65–92. Although all six elevators stop at floor 65, this floor is roughly the same layout as the residential floors immediately above and below it. It is not a sky lobby because residents can also board elevators to higher floors at floor 44.
The Hancock's 44th floor sky lobby includes a pool, gym, dry cleaner, convenience store, about 700 mailboxes, two "party" rooms, a sitting area overlooking Lake Michigan, a small library, a refuse room (with trash chutes emptying here), offices for the managers of the residential condominium, and a polling station for residents during elections.
Floors above 92 are serviced by direct passenger elevators from the ground floor, by an emergency elevator from the ground floor, and by two freight elevators that run from floors 44 to 98.
Buildings with sky lobbies
(in chronological order by construction date)
- John Hancock Center (Sky lobby at the 44th floor) in Chicago, Illinois, United States
- 1 World Trade Center (Contained two sky lobbies at the 44th and 78th floors) in New York City, New York, United States
- 2 World Trade Center (Contained two sky lobbies at the 44th and 78th floors) in New York City, New York, United States
- Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower—Two double-level sky lobbies at the 33rd/34th and 66th/67th floors) in Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Tower 42 (Double-level sky lobby at 23rd/24th floor) in London, UK
- JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) (Sky Lobby located at level 60) in Houston, Texas, United States
- Wells Fargo Plaza (Houston) (Sky Lobbies on level 34/35th and 58/59th) in Houston, Texas, United States
- Williams Tower (Sky Lobby at the 51st floor in Houston, Texas, United States
- Columbia Center (Sky lobby at the 40th floor with a Starbucks) in Seattle, Washington, USA
- Bank of America Tower (Sky lobby at the 11th floor) in Miami, Florida
- Seattle Municipal Tower (Sky lobby at the 40th floor) in Seattle, Washington, USA
- Izumi Garden Tower in Tokyo, Japan
- Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, located at level 41/42
- First World Hotel in Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia (Tower 1 and Tower 2 contain sky lobbies at the third and 8th floors respectively—both are connected. Tower 2 is built on lower ground than Tower 1.)
- Taipei 101 (Two double-level sky lobbies at the 35th/36th and 59th/60th floors) in Taipei, Taiwan
- The Shin Kong Life Tower in Taipei has a sky lobby on floor 16, above the department store.
- Immigration Tower, Wan Chai North, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
- Central Plaza, Wan Chai North, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
- The Center, Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, the 42nd floor.
- Two International Finance Centre, Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, the 33rd, 35th, 55th and 56th floors.
- Bloomberg Tower, New York City, the 6th and 20th floors.
- Nina Tower, Tsuen Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong
- The Bow, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Shanghai World Financial Center (Two double-level sky lobbies at the 28/29th and 52/53rd floors) in Shanghai, China
- Burj Khalifa, Dubai, the 43rd, 76th and 123rd floors.
- 200 West Street, New York City (Goldman Sachs Building), the 11th floor.
- The future Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will have three sky lobbies. It will also be over one kilometer tall.
- One World Trade Center, New York City will have a sky lobby located on the 64th floor.
- Australia 108 in Melbourne, Australia will have a two-storey sky lobby on the 83rd and 84th floors.
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