Look Out! 12 Outstanding Observation Towers Worth Climbing

i360 Observation Tower for Brighton by Marks Barfield Architects
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While most lookout towers are positioned in parks, nature preserves and other natural areas, this one is in a distinctly urban location – the city of Brighton. Looking out onto both the cityscape and the sea, the 531-foot-tall i360 Tower will be Britain’s highest observation tower outside of London. The glass pod that slides up the pole base can accommodate up to 200 people at a time and takes around 10 minutes to reach the peak.

Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper for the Amazon
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Could this lotus-shaped tower (or, as proposed by a team of Chinese designers, dozens of them) protect vulnerable rainforests from fire? The Rainforest Guardian also functions as a lookout tower, weather station, scientific research center and educational laboratory. The tower features ‘aerial root’ piping systems that absorb, store and deliver water when a fire is detected. The design of the base intends to have the smallest possible impact on the land.

Nature-Inspired ‘Fibrous Tower’ by SOMA
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Dozens of individual tubes make up the basic structure of the Fibrous Tower by Soma, overlooking the Taichung City Museum in Taiwan. The design is based on the genetic algorithms of natural growth processes and functions much like the fibers in a tree trunk or individual stands of muscle that come together into a strong whole. It’s powered by rooftop solar panels and features ‘ducts’ for looking out onto the landscape.

Double-Helix Gondola Tower for New Orleans by Perez
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Proposed for Canal Street in New Orleans, the Tricentennial Tower features a double-helix design with individual glass gondolas spiraling up to the top 320 feet in the air. The movement of the gondolas as well as the final view in the glass pod provide 360 degree views of the city. Inspired by the Seattle Needle, the project is envisioned as a popular tourist attraction, with the goal of being complete by New Orleans’ 300th birthday celebration in 2018.