Look Out! 12 Outstanding Observation Towers Worth Climbing

Bird Observation Tower in Germany by GMP Architects

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An angular observation tower made of Siberian larch evokes the shape of a bird with just a few triangles suggestive of beaks and feathers. Located at a seaside resort on the Graswarder peninsula in Germany, the Bird Observation Tower by GMP is a favorite place for both ornithologists and casual travelers to watch all of the avian activity on the preserve without disturbing the birds.

Recycled Steel Orbit Tower in London by Anish Kapoor
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Sculptor and architect Anish Kapoor added quite an unusual shape to London’s skyline for the 2012 Olympic Games. The twisting ArcelorMittal Orbit tower is made of 60% recycled steel and reaches a height of 114.5 meters (376 feet). Britain’s largest piece of public art, the tower was inspired by both the Tower of Babel (with Kapoor stating that he wanted to a structure with “something mythic about it”) and the movements of an electron cloud.

Circuit of the Americas Tower by Miró Rivera Architects
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The city of Austin got a 251-foot-tall tower overlooking not a nature preserve or even the city itself but rather the 3.4 mile track at Circuit of the Americas, the nation’s first purpose-built Formula 1 Grand Prix facility. Red tubes cascade down the side of the tower to form the roof of the Amphitheater stage, and frame the Main Grandstand. The lookout at the top features a glass floor and glass railings, and can hold up to 75 people at a time.

Za’abeel Park Observation Tower by XTEN Architecture
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Designed for the ThyssenKrupp elevator competition in Dubai, this tower by XTEN Architecture juts into the sky from a cultural park just off one of the city’s busiest streets. The site plan is based on a traditional Islamic geometric pattern, while the tower itself is comprised of six 30-meter diameter tubes that act as a ‘circulation system’ containing elevators and stairways. The tubes expand into three petal-like shapes which function as open-air observation decks cantilevering 70 meters in each direction at the top.