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As far as stunning views and amazing architecture goes, mother nature is still the world’s most successful architect, and designers throughout the years have worked to take advantage of the spectacular vistas that only she can provide. Lookout point architecture has seen homes, hotels, and observation decks placed in the most unique, and often bizarre locations, in order to allow visitors to catch a glimpse of a myriad of natural wonders.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a unique national forest park located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in China. An incredibly popular tourist attraction, the French architecture firm Martin Duplantier conceived of a daring way for visitors to experience to breathtaking views and heartstopping heights.
Martin Duplantier’s observation bridge allows walkers to take a seat in “mid-air”. Image source
A sequence of stealthy geometric shapes contrast with the natural environment and appear to be delicately placed within the topography. An elliptical disk mirrors its surroundings and allows visitors to lay down on a strong net tethered above the great void below.
The ‘Water Mirror’ is another structure that is comprised of a set of stones topped with 2cm of water. Every seven minutes the water disappears before reappearing through spray nozzles that create a cloud in the middle of the mountain range before settling on the stones to create the mirrored effect.
The ‘water mirror’ is topped with 2 centimeters of water to create a temporary mirror hanging in mid air. Image source
CODE: architecture planned out this rest area in the Gaular Mountains in Western Norway. Located at the highest point of the Gaularfjell, the firm’s biggest challenge was in executing the complex geometry of the lookout point.
This protruding lookout point at in Norway allows for stunning views of the Gaular Mountain. Image source
The corners of the 80-cm-thick concrete platform seem to rise towards the sky, and the triangular platform seems to have been poured from a single mould. Each of the folded corners serves its own function, with the one that protrudes the most acting as a lookout point, and the cantilever allowing visitors to climb over steps that can be stood or sat upon.
The geometry of the Utsikten lookout point may grow out of the mountainside, but has been arranged quite precisely. Because of the natural vegetation, the lookout will increasingly fit into the surrounding landscape over time.
Lookout points need not always be grand feats of architectural engineering. With the right location, simplicity can often be the key in allowing visitors to rest and reflect when taking in the scenery.
Camposaz is a woodwork construction workshop based in italy who designed and built the Tampa observatory in Romania. The wooden landing is situated on an outcrop overlooking the city of Brasov, and was chosen for its potential to provide stability, beauty, and spiritual rejuvenation in an otherwise physically taxing landscape.
A simple platform placed in a treacherous environment can still invoke marvel at the natural surroundings. Image source
Tampa uses basic geometries, with its wooden face interrupted by naturally occurring protrusions from the rock face. The intrusions were welcomed and incorporated into the shelter, creating a multi-level box that defines the structure and allowed for some playful exploration of quiet reflection.
The simple structure was built with the hopes of drawing in more tourists and hikers to the secluded area. Image source
While the isolated location resulted in a logistically difficult build, it was selected be various local institutions in the hopes of socialising the area and increasing the number of tourists and hikers drawn to the spot.
The Nemrut Volcano Lookout Point architecture competition is tasking participants with tackling the problem of constructing a functional and aesthetically-pleasing lookout point along the southern edge of the crater.
With the Bitlis Governorship committed to constructing the Nemrut Volcano Lookout Point, all winning designs will be put forward for consideration. Those that present design options as well as practical solutions for construction in such an extreme environment, will sit more favourably in the jury’s eyes.