Every day, a new urban development the size of Manhattan is built on Earth; this growth explosion presents expanding cities with major logistical hurdles.

To understand—and solve—the inevitable challenges of verticality, German multinational firm thyssenkrupp built the thyssenkrupp Test Tower in Rottweil, near Stuttgart. The structure, which stands at 246 meters (807 feet), houses Germany’s highest public observation platform and 12 shafts where engineers research and test emerging high-speed elevator technologies for the skyscrapers of tomorrow.

thyssenkrupp is testing elevators that run both vertically and horizontally. “In the future, cities will be bigger and buildings more complex,” says Beate Höhnle, tower manager. “This means it will be necessary to transport more people—and it’s precisely for these situations that we’ve created the MULTI elevator.”