About this Project

Indiana University
Bloomington, Ind.
Build Time
7 Months
Build Type


The School Of Music at Indiana University designed a brand new music studio building, and acoustic and noise considerations were paramount. All building systems had to be designed and engineered to be extremely quiet, so as not to disturb music practicing, recording, and performing. In addition, this elevator had to easily carry both grand pianos and passengers, while fitting in with the distinctive historic architecture of the IU campus.

Our Solution

In the design phase, the architect and general contractor approached Murphy Elevator with a proposal to install the elevator machine on a system of giant isolation springs so as to not transmit vibrations to the building. While an interesting concept, this would not work on an elevator system because the machine cannot move and shift while under load. Instead, Murphy proposed that the concrete slab and steel rebar that the elevator machine sits on should be 3 times thicker than normal to completely muffle vibrations and mechanical noise. Murphy worked with the general contractor and iron workers to ensure that the machine room floor and beams were placed properly.

With a capacity of 10,000 pounds, this cabled elevator is gigantic in every sense of the word. The door openings had to be wide enough and the cab long enough to accommodate grand pianos, which can be 6 feet wide by 9 feet long. Due to the size requirements, the elevator cab door by itself weighs over 400 pounds. The end result is a beautiful one of a kind passenger elevator. This 5 story elevator took 7 months to complete, and was finished in 2013.

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