César Manrique with Eduardo Cáceres and Jesús Soto, Mirador del Río, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain 1973
Completely camouflaged among the rocky cliffs of the Risco de Famara near the village of Yé, on the northern tip of Lanzarote and near the remains of an old 19th-century military battery, the Mirador del Río offers the island's most spectacular panoramic view of the Chinijo archipelago. If on the outside the visitor's path is practically unnoticeable, the interior space carved out of the rock, which houses a cafeteria and a souvenir shop, is meticulously designed and, despite its cavernous configuration, is flooded with light thanks to the large windows that open onto the landscape.
César Manrique with Eduardo Cáceres and Jesús Soto, Mirador del Río, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain 1973View article
Mark Ross Johnson Architects, Grand Canyon skywalk, Peach Springs, Arizona, USA 2007
Commissioned and managed by the Hualapai Indian tribe to revitalise the area's economy - not without controversy from environmentalists and natives who have seen sacred sites desecrated - Grand Canyon Skywalk is a scenic walkway located near the Colorado River on top of a canyon. The horseshoe shape with four layers of glass flooring, metal structure and a 21m cantilever over the void at a height of 220m from the plateau below, evokes the thrill of lightness and freedom felt by the eagles soaring over the area.
Mark Ross Johnson Architects, Grand Canyon skywalk, Peach Springs, Arizona, USA 2007View article
Pierre-Yves Chays, Auguille du midi skywalk, Chamonix, France 2013
At the top of the Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps, the “Pas dans le vide” lookout overlooks the Mont Blanc massif at a height of about 1,000 m above ground and an overall altitude of more than 3,800 m above sea level. The work, inspired by the Grand Canyon Skywalk, features a terrace with glass walls, floor and roof, projecting the visitor into an immersive experience of the Alpine landscape.
JLBM architect, Mirador de Abrante, Isla de la Gomera, Canary Islands 2013
The viewpoint, located in the north-east of the island of La Gomera in the municipality of Agulo, is a place to test one's static equilibrium. Situated at the top of the Abrante cliff, 620 m above sea level on the edge of an impressive cliff with a drop of about 200 metres and a seven-metre overhang over the void, the structure with its glass walls and floor offers a resting place and services to visitors and is definitely a challenge for those suffering from vertigo.
JLBM architect, Mirador de Abrante, Isla de la Gomera, Canary Islands 2013View article
Yuanduan, Chongqing, China 2015
Aptly named 'Yuanduan', meaning 'at the end of the clouds', the horseshoe-shaped glass walkway that juts out over the edge of a 718-metre-high cliff in the Longgang National Geological Park in Chongqing is the longest in the world, surpassing even the Grand Canyon's Skywalk, and gives thrills (and chills) at the sight of the mountains and canyon below.
Close to Bone, Vlooybergtoren, Tielt-Winge, Belgium 2015
Halfway between a tower rising above the Kabouterbos (fairy-tale forest) and a staircase to the sky, on the traces of an old wooden watchtower irreparably damaged by fire, this captivating 11 m construction clad entirely in steel to withstand the elements is an anti-gravitational and essential volume that seems to float in the air and is a landmark with a strong iconic value for the inhabitants and visitors of the area.
Close to Bone, Vlooybergtoren, Tielt-Winge, Belgium 2015
Foto Sally V da commons.wikimedia
Snøhetta, Perspektivenweg (Path of perspectives), Innsbruck, Austria 2018
In the Nordkette, the mountain range north of Innsbruck, along a meandering scenic path that starts at an altitude of 1,905 m above sea level and runs for 2.8 km over a height difference of 142, Snøhetta has designed ten architectural elements made of cortén steel and wood that are perfectly integrated into the natural landscape - seating, flooring and viewing platforms - that allow you to take in the spectacular Alpine scenery from different perspectives. Quotations from Ludwig Wittgenstein are engraved on the elements, for those who wish to pause for philosophical reflection.
Ro&Ad Architects, RAU Architects, Tij Observatory for the Scheelhoek Nature Reserve, Stellendam, Olanda 2019
Tij (Dutch for "tide" but also "egg") is a birdwatching observatory located in the De Scheelhoek nature reserve which, following the reopening of the Haringvliet locks and the consequent restoration of biodiversity, lends itself to being an unmissable destination for the discovery and appreciation of the rich local ecosystem. The entirely prefabricated, decomposable and recyclable wooden structure has the zoomorphic shape of an outsized Sterna sandvicensis egg resting on a nest created in the sand, as this bird commonly does. The lower part, which can be submerged by the tides, is made of radiata pine wood, which is particularly resistant to water, while the upper part is made of pine and covered with local reed straw. Inside the belvedere, the path for contemplating nature is spiral-shaped on two levels, with focused views of the landscape.
Ro&Ad Architects, RAU Architects, Tij Observatory for the Scheelhoek Nature Reserve, Stellendam, Olanda 2019View article
ArcDesign, Skywalk, Gibraltar
Situated on a former World War II military base that once housed anti-aircraft guns at the highest point of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, Skywalk is a viewing platform offering a breathtaking 360° view of Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. A glass walkway and balustrade cantilever over the steeply sloping terrain, creating an effect of lightness and suspension in the void, while steel stairs lead to the top of the original platform where the old octagonal concrete base now serves as a resting space for visitors.
Noa*Network of Architecture, Ötzi Peak 3251m, Maso Corto Location, Alto Adige, Italy 2020
On the highest part of the Val Senales glacier ridge, the border line between Italy and Austria, the viewing platform incorporating the pre-existing summit cross offers an extraordinary experience of contact with the mountain: characterised by an architecture that reflects the natural topography of the site and bound to the ground only at necessary points, the platform is made of steel grids and surrounded around the entire perimeter by vertical corten slabs. Glass balustrades blur the boundary towards the void, contributing to the thrill of vertigo or contemplation of the 'Sublime'.
Noa*Network of Architecture, Ötzi Peak 3251m, Maso Corto Location, Alto Adige, Italy 2020View article
Al Borde, Learning viewpoint, Guayaquil, Ecuador 2021
In the forest of Cerro Blanco, a protected area in the south-west of Ecuador, an educational viewpoint for observation and knowledge of the grandiose local natural ecosystem stands as a construction that is clearly integrated in its context: the cantilevered structure made of wood charred using the Japanese technique of "shou sugi ban" to ensure greater durability, and covered with a fabric impregnated with cement mortar, offers a unique visual and emotional experience in its simplicity and essentiality.
BIG, Marsktårn, Skærbæk, Denmark 2021
Like a solitary totem stuck in the flat Danish landscape, this 25 m high observation and watchtower, with a double helix shape and made entirely of steel, provides a 360° view from a height of 110 m² over the natural landscape surrounding the Wadden Sea and the Wadden Sea National Park, an important migratory stopover for thousands of birds and a refuge for as many native species.