Jutting out over cliffs or hovering over impossibly small foundations, these 16 dramatically cantilevered structures seem like they’re about to take off into the sky. With designs that appear to defy the laws of physics, these balancing homes, museums and mountain overlooks extend beyond the usual boundaries to take in majestic views.
Balancing Barn by MVRDV
Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has made a name for itself with wholly unexpected, often gravity-defying structures, and Balancing Barn is a prime example. The glittering metal-clad building looks like someone started to push it off a cliff and gave up, seeming to balance precariously on the edge of the hillside. The structure is 98 feet long (30 meters) and is actually no barn at all, but a home designed to take in the views of the surrounding forest.
Hemeroscopium House by Ensamble Studio & Anton Garcia-Abril
A swimming pool juts out over the grass at the highly unusual Hemeroscopium House by Ensamble Studios. Made of prefabricated concrete built from three massive I-beams, two segments of an irrigation canal and two steel girders, the house took just a week to assemble.
Top of Tyrol Viewing Platform, Austria
The sculptural Top of Tyrol overlook by Aste Architecture is a platform that juts 27 feet over a ridge at the pinnacle of Austria’s Mount Isidor. The oxidized metal structure was designed to blend into the environment as much as possible, seeming to disappear into the rocks during warm weather and meld with the snow in winter.
View Hill House by Denton Corker Marshall
Rather than placing the second story parallel to the first, as is most common, Australian architects Denton Corker Marshall chose a perpendicular approach for the aptly named View Hill House. The architects envision the isolated building as ‘land art,’ a shape that can be reduced to two sticks placed on top of each other and ‘dropped’ onto the landscape.
Five Fingers Viewing Platform, Austria
Five individual platforms stick out of this overlook in the Salzkammergut area of the Austrian Alps, each with a different way to experience the view. One has a picture frame at the end, another has a glass floor, the third has a trampoline, the fourth features a round hole in the floor and the fifth offers a telescope.