1Phoenix Observation Tower (US)
Copenhagen and New York-based architecture studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has designed a 420 ft. tall mixed-use observation tower to serve as a symbol for the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Located in downtown Phoenix, the 70,000 sq. ft. Observation Tower shall add a significant structure to the Phoenix skyline from which to enjoy the city’s spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges and dramatic sunsets. Phoenix-based developer Novawest commissioned the team to create a destination attraction to provide both tourists and citizens of Phoenix the chance to enjoy the unique features of the Valley of the Sun.
2Baumwipfelpfad Observation Tower (Germany)
High altitude walkways grace Baumwipfelpfad, probably the most popular attraction in the national park of Bavaria, the largest protected forest in Central Europe. The total length of the structure is 1300 meters, and its height is 25 meters. The track ends with a dome and a spiral staircase that leads to the observation deck.
3Daewon Park Observatory (Korea)
Korean architect Changki Yun (Kyungam Architects Associates) designed this observation tower for the city of Seongnam in Korea. The Daewon Park Observatory was an entry for a competition but did not win.
4Wind Turbine Observation Tower
Created by Architect Michael Jantzen, the Wind Turbine Observation Tower is a futuristic power generation concept that seeks to eliminate the poisonous coal-based electricity generation with something that is much, much cleaner. The super power turbine features five wind-activated segments, all of which rotate in different directions to produce electricity. Of course, the structure is also meant to serve as a public space with an observation tower allowing people to walk about and savor the surrounding landscape as well as the magnificence of the tower itself. The best part is that the electricity generated by the power turbines will also be used to illuminate the building at night, making it stand out as a landmark in the area.
5River Mur Observation Tower (Austria)
This observation tower by Munich office Terrain: Loenhart & Mayr rises over the river Mur at the Austrian border with Slovenia. The aluminium-clad structure’s staircase curls back on itself at the top, forming a double spiral so that visitors on the way up pass those on the way down.
6Canton Tower (China)
IBA’s Canton Tower is a superbly futuristic building that currently wears the crown of China’s tallest tower. Engineered by Arup, the twisting skyscraper represents a culmination of architectural beauty and technical brilliance. Situated on the edge of the Pearl river, this structure spirals up to 600 meters high, and its perfect hourglass shape attracts visitors from all over the world to the city of Guangzhou.
The rooftop has an outdoor public observatory 488 m. (1,601 ft.) above the ground, which takes the form of a terraced elliptical space roughly the size of a small city square. Opened in December 2011, it is currently the highest and largest outdoor observation deck in the world. Sixteen transparent “crystal” passenger cars, each with a diameter of 3.2 m. (10 ft.), are able to carry four to six people, traveling on a track around the edge of the tower’s roof and taking between 20 to 40 minutes to circumnavigate the rooftop.
7ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower (England)
The crazy, twisting ArcelorMittal Orbit observation tower in London is now complete. The spiraling red steel tower provides views of the Olympic Park, and it was designed by Anish Kapoor, engineered by Cecil Balmond, and sponsored by ArcelorMittal, a sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and a leading global steel company. The tower, which is both a structure and a work of art, has been constructed out of 60% recycled steel and reaches a height of 114.5 meters.
8Seljord Lookout Point (Norway)
Lake Seljord is inhabited by a giant eel-like sea monster named Selma who overturns boats and dances on the water — or so say the residents of Seljord, Norway. Like Nessie, Bigfoot, and the Yeti, there are hundreds of witnesses who have seen Selma in the lake, but there is little credible evidence to prove she is a reality. But that doesn’t stop the tourists from visiting the famous Lake Seljord and attempting to catch a glimpse of her. In 2008, the town decided to capitalize on the lore by building a lookout tower for visitors to use while seeking out Selma. Designed by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, the Seljord Lookout Point is made completely of wood and provides a new way for visitors to experience nature and, of course, hunt for sea monsters.
9Bamboo Observation Tower (Amazon)
British architects Marks Barfield have designed a research centre for the Amazon Jungle with a bulging bamboo observation tower and over six miles of treetop bridges. The centre would allow both researchers and tourists to survey the rainforest canopy from above. Local bamboo would be used to construct the tower, which is designed as a series of off-center circular decks that are linked by a spiralling central staircase.
10Näsinneula Observation Tower (Finland)
Built in 1970-1, the Näsinneula observation tower is the tallest free-standing structure in Finland and the tallest observation tower in the Nordic countries, reaching a height of 168 m. Also, flying past in the foreground is the Tornado inverted coaster.