Rarely, if ever, is the design of an elevator central to the aesthetics of a building. Yet rules are made to be broken, which is why certain elevators are much more than a means of transportation. Some are exceptional, with wild designs, and go far beyond your typical towers. Found in both urban and natural landscapes, they offer spectacular, striking views of built cities and the ocean abyss. Below, AD surveys the 11 most extravagant elevators around the world. One stretches to the top of a mountainside, while another is painted gold and dates back to the 19th century. If nothing else, these engineering marvels will prove that—sometimes—pressing a button is better than taking the stairs.