Top 5 impressive FacadeXS projects of 2018

2018 brought us many fascinating architectural delights, for which we were able to provide facade access equipment. We want to highlight five impressive FacadeXS solutions we manufactured and/or installed in 2018. All facade access equipment for these projects is custom designed to fit the unique shape of the building and the wishes of the owners.

5. Jewel of the Creek – Dubai

Jewel of the Creek is a large mixed-use project consisting out of seventeen individual buildings on the north shore of the Dubai Creek. Its brilliant design reflects the waterfront location, the waves and the movement of the water. The project is designed to become a tourist landmark in the center of Dubai.

Multiple four and five star hotels, twelve apartment buildings and three office towers make up the high-rise buildings in the Jewel of the Creek project.

To ensure that these landmarks are always in good condition we delivered five different FacadeXS solutions for five buildings in this project. Our unique solutions included multiple roof cars and monorail systems, more details on this project can be read here.

  • 3 x traversing roof cars.
  • 1 x traversing, trackless, roof car.
  • Total roof car track length approx. 339 m (1.112 ft).
  • Max. outreach of 5,5 m (18 ft).
  • 3 x fixed pantograph gondolas.
  • 4 x Glass Replacement Units with max. load of 350 kg (771 lbs) and 950 kg (2.094 lbs).
  • 6 x wall mounted monorail systems.
  • 6 x self-hoisting gondolas with XSClimber hoisting devices.
  • Total monorail track length approx. 475 m (1.558 ft).
Jewel of the Creek

4. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center — New York City, United States of America

The new David H. Koch Center of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, or MSKCC for short, arises in New York City.

At MSKCC the focus is on the patient, they are already going through a trying time so their stay should be as comfortable and stress-free as possible. As natural light has a proven effect on the comfort of people a design was chosen that ensures lots of daylight can come in. Furthermore, the building’s exterior is broken down into a series of smaller, interconnected units, with protruding and retracting elements that can be used as terraces.

To keep the views and light influx unobstructed XSPlatforms and our Partner Greg Beeche Logistics were asked to provide a facade access solution that would provide access to all protruding and retracting elements.

Also see our reference of this project.

  • 1 x traversing telescopic roof car.
  • Approx. lifting height of roof car: 140 m (459 ft).
  • Telescopic jib with outreach of 35,8 m (117 ft).
  • Telescopic base with a max. height of 6,2 m (20,3 ft).
  • Glass-hook Replacement Unit with a max. load of 680 kg (1500 lbs).
  • Two interchangeable (telescopic) gondolas of 10,6 m (34,7 ft) and 5,8 m (19 ft).
  • Standard gondola with an SWL of 453 kg (1000 lbs).
  • Total weight: 56.500 kg (124.561 lbs).

3. L Tower — Toronto, Canada

While we have not given much attention to our FacadeXS solution for this project, L Tower cannot be excluded from our top 5 of 2018.

The L Tower is a grand addition to the skyline of Toronto, it’s clean lines expand in a dramatic, swooping and easily recognizable, curve near the top. The residential tower spans 57 stories and holds 600 high-end, luxurious condos.

However, the top of the tower was long marred with a derrick used during the construction process. The implementation of our BMU meant L Tower could finally get rid of an eye sore for the inhabitants of Toronto. As our BMU was also designed to help with the removal of the derrick.

To ensure no further ‘crane’ would pollute the top of the tower we designed our BMU to partially retract into an opening in the roof. This means the curve of the top of the tower can finally be enjoyed by all. Not to mention, the inhabitants of L Tower can now have their windows washed again, as previously not all of the facade could be reached. With our custom made BMU this building can be kept in top condition.

Read the project reference in our portfolio.

  • 1 x fixed (telescopic) roof car.
  • Approx. lifting height: 220 m (722 ft).
  • Fixed pantograph gondola with a reach of 1,8 m (5,9 ft).
  • Glass Replacement Unit with a max. load of 300 kg (661 lbs).
  • Standard gondola with a max. SWL of 240 kg (529 lbs).
  • Total weight: 79.000 kg (174.165 lbs).

2. Grand Egyptian Museum – Cairo, Egypt

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is a brand new state of the art museum situated on the edge of the Giza pyramid complex. Said to be the largest museum in the world with 480.000 m2 (5,200,000 ft2) of gross floor area. The GEM is completely dedicated to Egyptology, housing 24,000m2 of permanent exhibition space. The complex also contains a special children’s museum, a large conservation center, and a conference and training center.

The museum has a complex glass facade through which the pyramids on the Giza plateau can be seen. To ensure visitors always have a perfect view on the pyramids, XSPlatforms designed custom facade access solutions, for interior and exterior use. A challenge in this project was the visibility of the solution to visitors. Our solutions could not have an impact on the visitor’s experience of the museum. For this reason, and to ensure that the interior and exterior facades could be reached properly, we installed a wide array of different monorail systems.

The details of our solution can be read here.

  • 52 x XS127 (inclining) monorail systems.
  • A total track length of approx. 3.600 m (11.811 ft).
  • 8 x XS133 (horizontal) monorail systems.
  • A total track length of approx. 523 m (1715 ft).
  • 16 x (2-person) self-hoisting gondolas.
  • Gondolas interchangeable between systems.
  • 16 (monorail) systems are used for Rope Access (with abseil trolleys).
  • 24 (monorail) systems with Glass Replacement Units.
  • GRU’s with max. loads of 250 kg and 450 kg (551 and 992 lbs).
  • 2 x traversing (telescopic) gantry bridge.
Grand Egyptian Museum

Honorable mention: One Dalton – Boston, United States of America

While this project did not make the top 5, it does deserve an honorable mention as the solution truly shows what XSPlatforms stands for.

Upon completion One Dalton is the third tallest building in Boston, standing at 226 meters (742 ft) tall. This elegant, luxurious tower will house 442 residential units and a 23-floor hotel. To maintain the polished facade of One Dalton we will installed a fixed roof car with a telescopic jib on the roof. What makes this solution so unique is, that next to the BMU itself, the gondola was also custom engineered. The gondola can fold its ends to match the radius of the curved corners of the facade. The gondola can slowly be folded back out again when the straight parts of the facade need to be accessed. The gondola is also equipped with an extendable platform to reach the coves in the facade. The image below depicts the two functions of the gondola.

Interested in learning more about our solution for One Dalton? Continue reading here.

1. National Bank of Kuwait – Kuwait City, Kuwait

We know we’ve put this project in the spotlight quite a few times already, but the iconic design and challenging construction of the building called for an equally iconic machine that deserves the attention. Plus, we’ve received many questions about the progress of this project. We are currently finalizing the crown BMU on site.

The new headquarters for the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) are an architectural masterpiece in the making. The tower’s cylindrical design opens up to the north, while the southern facade is shaded by a series of concrete fins. This way the offices are protected from the heat of the sun in the extreme summer months.

The facade access solution for this building is one of the most complex machines we have had the honor of designing and building. Most Building Maintenance Units (BMUs) are put up on the roof of a building. For NBK this was not an option, as the structure has no roof. For this reason we created an integrated BMU that has a parking area inside the building. With the press of a button a panel opens and the BMU rises to working height.

Why this project is so special is detailed in our blog ‘World’s heaviest and most complex Facade Access System in numbers’.

  • 1 x telescopic crown unit.
  • Telescopic base height of 38 m (124.7 ft).
  • 1 x two-part knuckle jib with reach of 16 m (52.5 ft).
  • 1 x three-part knuckle jib with reach of 14 m (45.9 ft).
  • 1 x Glass Replacement Unit with a max. load of 1300 kg (2866 lbs).
  • A ladder from level 41 to top.
  • An aerial working platform.
  • Various hoists.
  • Rope access points on top.
  • Total weight: 136.000 kg (300.000 lbs).


Every building is unique and requires a custom solution for facade maintenance. Our knowledge and experience allows us to always offer the right, often innovative, solution for a project. We have already provided many high-quality solutions for high rise buildings all over the world. Download our leaflet with the top 5 impressive FacadeXS project of 2018 to see some examples.