Five Thrilling Ways to Experience the Built Environment

THESE WALLS CAN TALK

Around the world, developers are creating innovative new attractions that encourage visitors to see buildings (and the cities around them) in new and exciting ways. These novel experiences thrill and inspire in equal measure and place an increased emphasis on the impressive design of their respective structures.

From gondola rides in Stockholm to base jumping in Dubai, visitors are being treated to new and increasingly thrilling ways to experience the built environment.

Here are five structures that are revolutionizing the way thrill-seekers interact with their surroundings.

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Picture courtesy of OUE Skyspace Los Angeles

Skyslide at U.S. Bank Tower (United States)

If the thought of sailing down a glass slide isn’t enough to excite you, try doing it from 1,000 feet in the air. The U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, Calif.—the second-tallest building in the city—is set to unveil a new attraction that that will let visitors travel from the building’s 70th floor to its 69th floor on a clear glass slide. While the 45-foot distance between the two floors may not seem like much, the sheer height of the slide’s elevation is just harrowing enough to attract thrill-seeking patrons. 

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The Ledge at Willis Tower (United States) 

Standing on a ledge has never been as thrilling as it is at the iconic Willis Tower in Chicago, Ill. Unlike the distinctive black aluminum and bronze-tinted glass that cover the building’s facade, the boxes that make up The Ledge are made of clear glass. Situated on the 103rd floor of the 1,730-foot tower, visitors can enjoy the unique experience of being suspended in midair while enjoying unparalleled views of Chicago’s skyline. 

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SkyView at Ericsson Globe (Sweden)

Take in views of Stockholm as you ride along one of the world’s largest spherical buildings. SkyView’s two gondolas accommodate up to 16 passengers each and travel along parallel tracks on the exterior of Ericsson Globe. As you reach the apex of the building, located 425 feet in the air, be sure to snap a picture or two of the impressive 360-degree view. 

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Base Jumping Tower (United Arab Emirates)

As if offering 360-degree panoramic views of Dubai from the125th floor of the Burj Khalifa wasn’t enough, the city is looking to create an even more exciting attraction for thrill-seekers eager to do more than just see beautiful vistas from unthinkable heights.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is looking into developing a 325-meter base jump tower that would be situated on Dubai’s beachfront. The tower would include a series of “base camps” that would allow users of varying skill levels to enjoy exhilarating activities like climbing, rappelling and base jumping. While not for the faint of heart, if built, the tower will give visitors a truly novel way to appreciate Dubai’s magnificent architecture.

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Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (Maldives)

For those afraid of heights, there are plenty of thrills to be found under the sea. At the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, diners can enjoy contemporary European cuisine in an all-glass restaurant located 16 feet underwater.

Fans of fine dining can enjoy six-course meals cooked by guest chefs flown to the resort, like renowned Swedish chef Michael Elfwing. And as they dine on an array of seafood dishes, patrons can watch various marine species swim all around them. In fact, in 2014, the restaurant’s spectacular 180-degree underwater views earned it a place on The Daily Meal’s list of the 10 most beautiful restaurants in the world.

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