Observation deck

An observation deck, observation platform, or viewing platform is an elevated sightseeing platform usually situated upon a tall architectural structure, such as a skyscraper or observation tower. Observation decks are sometimes enclosed from weather, and a few may include coin-operated telescopes for viewing distant features.

The Edge at 30 Hudson Yards in Midtown Manhattan, the highest outdoor deck containing optically transparent flooring in the world, looking toward Lower Manhattan, opened in 2020.
View from the Shanghai Tower observation deck.
Visitors on the observation deck of the Skylon Tower, which overlooks Niagara Falls.
The observation deck from the TK Elevator Test Tower, which overlooks Germany's Black Forest and the Alps
Glass balconies attached to the St Eusebius Church in Arnhem, Netherlands.
Footage of the panoramic views during an 1898 ascent of the Eiffel Tower by the Lumière brothers.

List of public observation decksEdit

List of public observation decks
Rank Name Completion Date Type City Deck height (m) Total height (m) Notes
1 Shanghai Tower 2015 Skyscraper   Shanghai 562[1] 632 121st floor, decks are also on 118th and 119th floors.
2 Ping An Finance Centre 2017 Skyscraper   Shenzhen 562[1] 599.1 115th floor (opened on February 10, 2018)
3 Burj Khalifa 2010 Skyscraper   Dubai 555 829.8 154th floor (opened early 2022)
4 Merdeka 118 2022 Skyscraper   Kuala Lumpur 518.9 678.9
5 Canton Tower 2010 Steel Tower   Guangzhou 488 604
6 Lotte World Tower 2017 Skyscraper   Seoul 486 555
Abraj Al Bait 2011 Skyscraper   Mecca 486 601
8 Shanghai World Financial Center 2008 Skyscraper   Shanghai 474[2] 492.3 100th floor, decks also on levels 94 & 97
9 Burj Khalifa 2010 Skyscraper   Dubai 452−456 829.8 124th and 125th floors
10 Tokyo Skytree 2012 Steel Tower   Tokyo 451.2 634 -
11 Taipei 101 2004 Skyscraper   Taipei 449.2 508.2 The 101st floor indoor/outdoor rooftop observation deck opened to the public on June 14, 2019.[3] Two additional observation decks, outdoor on the 91st-floor and indoor on the 89th floor at 383.2 metres (1,257 ft).
12 CN Tower 1976 Concrete tower   Toronto 446.7 553.3 Two additional observation decks at 342 m (outdoor) & 346 m (indoor).
13 Willis Tower 1974 Skyscraper   Chicago 412.7 527.3 103rd floor, it is the highest observation deck (Skydeck) and highest skywalk (Skydeck glass balconies) in the United States [4][5][6][7]
14 Sky100, International Commerce Centre 2011 Skyscraper   Hong Kong 393 484 100th floor 360-degree indoor observation deck
15 One World Trade Center 2014 Skyscraper   New York City 386.6 541.3 Observation deck on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors
16 Landmark 81 2019 Skyscraper   Ho Chi Minh City 382 461 Observation decks on 79th, 80th and 81st floors
17 Petronas Towers 1998 Skyscraper   Kuala Lumpur 370 451.9 Observation deck on 86th floor of tower 2, in addition there is the skybridge between the two towers on 41st and 42nd floors at 170 meters.
18 Empire State Building 1931 Skyscraper   New York City 369[8] 448.7 102nd floor, additional 86th floor deck (320 m)
19 Lakhta Center 2021 Skyscraper   Saint Petersburg 357 461 Observations on 84th, 85th 86th and 87th floors
20 Oriental Pearl Tower 1994 Concrete tower   Shanghai 351 467.9 15 observation levels, the highest one being outdoors
21 Tuntex Sky Tower 1997 Skyscraper   Kaohsiung 341 347.5 74th floor
22 Jin Mao Tower 1998 Skyscraper   Shanghai 340.1 420.5 88th floor
23 30 Hudson Yards 2020 Skyscraper   New York City 340 387 Observations on 100th and 101nd floors
Ostankino Tower 1967 Concrete tower   Moscow 340 540.1 Indoor deck is at 337 m
25 John Hancock Center 1969 Skyscraper   Chicago 313.8 343.5 94th floors Observation deck
26 Milad Tower 2007 Concrete tower   Tehran 312 435 Top level
27 China World Trade Center Tower III 2010 Skyscraper   Beijing 311.8 330 81st floor
28 Shun Hing Square 1996 Skyscraper   Shenzhen 298.1 384
29 US Bank Tower 1989 Skyscraper   Los Angeles 297 310 70th floor (Skyslide & Events)

69th Floor (Indoor & Outdoor Observation)

30 Abeno Harukas(Abenobashi Terminal Building) 2014 Skyscraper   Osaka 288 300 58th-60th floor (top floor)
31 Zifeng Tower 2010 Skyscraper   Nanjing 287 450
32 Eureka Tower 2007 Skyscraper   Melbourne 285 297.3 Skydeck 88 is at a height of 285 m
33 King Power MahaNakhon 2018 Skyscraper   Bangkok 281.6 314 Observation Deck on 74th 76th and 78th floor
Etihad Towers (Tower 2) 2011 Skyscraper   Abu Dhabi 281.6 305.3 Observation Deck at 300 is located on 75th Floor
35 Eiffel Tower 1889 Wrought iron lattice tower   Paris 276.1 330 3rd floor
36 Menara Kuala Lumpur 1996 Concrete tower   Kuala Lumpur 276 421
37 Columbia Center 1985 Skyscraper   Seattle 275 284 73rd floor
38 Yokohama Landmark 1993 Skyscraper   Yokohama 273 296 69th floor
39 One Liberty Place 1987 Skyscraper   Philadelphia 269 288 57th Floor
40 Bank of America Plaza (Dallas) 1985 Skyscraper   Dallas 268.4 281 71st floor, additional 70th floor 264.6 metres (868 ft).
41 JPMorgan Chase Tower 1982 Skyscraper   Houston 268.2 305.4 60th floor
42 Sydney Tower 1981 Steel Tower   Sydney 268 309 Main indoor observation deck. Outdoor Skywalk attraction on roof is located at 279 meters
43 Gran Torre Santiago 2013 Skyscraper   Santiago 261 300 Observation deck named Sky Costanera is located on floors 61 and 62
44 GE Building 1933 Skyscraper   New York City 259.1 259.1 70th floor ("Top of the Rock")
45 Tianjin Tower 1991 Concrete tower   Tianjin 257 415.2
46 40 Wall Street 1929 Skyscraper   New York City 255 283
47 Osaka Prefectural Government Sakishima Building 1995 Skyscraper   Osaka 252 256
48 Etihad Towers (Tower 1) 2011 Skyscraper   Abu Dhabi 251.2 277.6 [9]
49 63 Building 1985 Skyscraper   Seoul 249 250 60th floor
50 Midland Square 2007 Skyscraper   Nagoya 247 247 47th floor
51 Lotus Tower 2019 Concrete tower   Colombo 245 356
52 The Shard 2013 Skyscraper   London 244.8 306 72nd floor Observation Deck
53 Central Radio & TV Tower 1992 Concrete tower   Beijing 238 405
54 Sunshine 60 1978 Skyscraper   Tokyo 237.6 239.8
55 Federation Tower (Tower West) 2008 Skyscraper   Moscow 235[10] 252 62nd Floor
56 TK Elevator Test Tower 2017 Concrete tower   Rottweil 232[11] 246 30th floor (indoor and outdoor)
57 Q1 2005 Skyscraper   Gold Coast 230 323 77th floor (SkyPoint), with the function hall on the 78th[specify]
West Pearl Tower 2006 Concrete tower   Chengdu 230 339
59 Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 2003 Skyscraper   Tokyo 229.3 238 52nd floor (indoor) & 54th floor (roof-deck)
60 Taipei Nan Shan Plaza 2018 Skyscraper   Taipei 228.5 272 46th floor (indoor)
61 Europaturm 1979 Concrete tower   Frankfurt 227 337.5 Since 1999, the Europaturm has been closed to the public-->
62 Tokyo Tower 1958 Steel truss tower   Tokyo 223.5 332.6 6th floor
63 Macau Tower 2001 Concrete tower   Macau 223 338
64 Sky Tower 1997 Concrete tower   Auckland 220 328 Skydeck observation deck, numbered 60th floor
65 Tour Montparnasse 1972 Skyscraper   Paris 209 209
66 Fernsehturm Berlin 1969 Concrete tower   Berlin 207 368
67 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building 1990 Skyscraper   Tokyo 202 243.4
68 Main Tower 1999 Skyscraper   Frankfurt 200 240
Marina Bay Sands 2010 Skyscraper   Singapore 200 200
70 Olympiaturm 1968 Concrete tower   Munich 192 291
71 Vysotsky 2011 Skyscraper   Yekaterinburg 186 188.3 Observation deck was opened on 3 May 2012[12]
72 Bitexco Financial Tower 2010 Skyscraper   Ho Chi Minh City 181 262.5 47th floor
73 Tower of the Americas 1968 Concrete tower   San Antonio 176 229
74 Rheinturm 1979 Concrete tower   Düsseldorf 170 240.5
Umeda Sky Building 1993 Skyscraper   Osaka 170 173
Tallinn TV Tower 1980 Tower   Tallinn 170 314
77 Donauturm 1964 Concrete tower   Vienna 169.4 252
78 N Seoul Tower 1975 Steel tower   Seoul 168.3 236.7 Tower sits atop Namsan Mountain
79 Vilnius TV Tower 1980 Tower   Vilnius 165 326.5
80 Space Needle 1962 Steel tower   Seattle 158.5 184.4
81 Calgary Tower 1968 Concrete tower   Calgary 157.5 190.8
82 Fernsehturm Stuttgart 1956 Concrete tower   Stuttgart 153 216.6
83 Avala Tower 2009 Concrete tower   Belgrade 135 204.5
84 Fukuoka Tower 1989 Tower   Fukuoka 123 234
85 Kuwait viewing sphere 1979 Concrete tower   Kuwait City 120 187 (1990 Liberation Tower of ~300 m is not open to public)
86 Palace of Culture and Science 1955 Multi-function   Warsaw 114 237 Observation Deck on 30th floor
87 Spinnaker Tower 2005 Tower   Portsmouth 110 170
88 Millennium Center 2 office tower restaurant 2016 Skyscraper   Sofia 105 108
89 Kyoto Tower 1964 Tower   Kyoto 100 131
Nagoya TV Tower 1954 Tower   Nagoya 100 180
91 Tashkent Tower 1985 Tower   Tashkent 97 375
92 Snezhanka Tower, Pamporovo, Bulgaria 1978 Concrete tower   Pamporovo 93 156
93 Kobe Port Tower 1963 Tower   Kobe 90.8 108
94 Sapporo TV Tower 1957 Tower   Sapporo 90 147.2
95 Tsūtenkaku 1956 Tower   Osaka 87.5 108
96 Nebraska State Capitol 1930 Skyscraper   Lincoln 75 120 14th floor

List of highest observation decks by typeEdit

Type Name and Location Constructed Height Notes
Observation Skywalk over vertical cliff free drop ”Step into the Void” glass skywalk, Aiguille du Midi peak, The Alps, France[13][14] 2013 1,035 m (3,396 ft)
Enclosed observation deck on high-rise building Shanghai Tower, Shanghai and Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China [1] 2015 and 2017 562 m (1,844 ft)
Outdoor observation deck on high-rise building Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE[1] 2014 555.7 m (1,823 ft)
Skywalk over (artificial) waterfall free drop Sky Corridor Waterfall Walkway, Huangteng Gorge, Guangdong, China [15] 2018 500 m (1,640 ft)
Observation deck on tower[1] Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China 2011 488 m (1,601 ft)
Skywalk over high-rise building Skydeck (The Ledge) observation deck glass balconies, Willis Tower, Chicago, USA [1] 2009 412.4 m (1,353 ft)
Skywalk over bridge Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, Zhangjiajie, China [16] 2016 300 m (984 ft)
Skywalk over glacier Glacier Skywalk, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada [17] 2014 280 m (919 ft)

Timeline of world's highest observation decksEdit

This is a timeline of the development of world's highest observation decks since the inauguration of the Washington Monument in 1885.

Held record Name and Location Constructed Height of highest observation deck Notes
From To
1885 1889   Washington Monument, Washington D.C., United States 1889 152.3 m (500 ft) Was the world's tallest structure when completed.
1889 1931   Eiffel Tower, Paris, France 1889 275 m (902 ft) Two further observation decks 57 & 115 m.
1931 1973   Empire State Building, New York City, United States 1931 369 m (1,211 ft)[8] A second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 metres above ground.
1973 1974   World Trade Center, New York City, United States (article) 1973 399.4 m (1,310 ft) Measured from sea level, street level was 10 feet above sea level. Indoor observation deck on the 107th floor of South Tower opened on April 4, 1973. Destroyed during the September 11 attacks.
1974 1975   Sears Tower (since renamed Willis Tower), Chicago, United States 1974 412.4 m (1,353 ft) Measured from the Franklin Street entrance, 103rd floor observation deck opened on June 22, 1974
1975 1976   World Trade Center, New York City, United States (article) 1973 419.7 m (1,377 ft) Measured from sea level, street level was 10 feet above sea level. Outdoor observation deck on rooftop of the South Tower opened on December 15, 1975. Destroyed during the September 11 attacks.
1976 2004   CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1976 446.5 m (1,465 ft) Two further observation decks 342 and 346 metres above ground.
2004 2008   Taipei 101, Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan) 2004 449.2 m (1,474 ft) Two other observation decks are at 392 m (1,286 ft) (91st-floor outdoor observation deck) and 383 m (1,257 ft) (89th-floor indoor observation deck).
2008 2011   Shanghai World Financial Centre, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 2008 474 m (1,555 ft) Other observation decks are at 423 m (1,388 ft) and 439 m (1,440 ft).
2011 2014   Canton Tower, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China 2011 488 m (1,601 ft) The outdoor rooftop observation deck opened in December 2011. There are also several other indoor observation decks in the tower, the highest at 433.2 m (1,421 ft).
2014 2016   Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE 2010 555.7 m (1,821 ft) Opened on October 15, 2014 on the 148th floor. There is another observation deck at 452.1 m (1,483 ft) on the 124th floor, which has been open since the building was opened to the public.
2016 Present   Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China 2015 562.1 m (1,844 ft) Opened on July 1, 2016. there are also 2 more observation decks on the 118th and 119th floor, at 546 and 552 meters respectively.

Under constructionEdit

Approved

See also List of tallest buildings and structures in the world#World's highest observation deck

Observation deck galleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f ctbuh. "World's Highest Observation Decks". www.ctbuh.org. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  2. ^ "Shanghai World Financial Center -SWFC- | Official site of Shanghai Financial Center". www.swfc-shanghai.com. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  3. ^ "Taipei 101 to open top floor to public for the first time". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
  4. ^ "Sears Tower unveils 103rd floor glass balconies", USA Today, July 1, 2009
  5. ^ "The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago". Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011. SOM.com Project Page
  6. ^ BJ Lutz (May 30, 2014). "Coating on Willis Tower Skydeck's Ledge Cracks Under Tourists". Nbcchicago.com. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Sophie Lewis (June 12, 2019). "Protective layer of Willis Tower's SkyDeck cracks under visitors' feet". cbsnews. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "The Empire State Building". Wired New York. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  9. ^ "Etihad Towers T1 - The Skyscraper Center". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. 2013. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013.
  10. ^ "Смотровая площадка Башня Федерация".
  11. ^ "thyssenkrupp Elevator". TK Elevator (in German). Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  12. ^ "Открытие смотровой площадки в БЦ "Высоцкий"".
  13. ^ "Aiguille du Midi : Inauguration nouvelle attraction le Tube".
  14. ^ Coldwell, Will (19 December 2013). "Step into the Void: The glass skywalk at the top of the French Alps – in pictures". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "Visit Guangdong's Highest Sky Corridor Waterfall Walkway in China | the Asian Magazine".
  16. ^ "World's tallest and longest glass bridge closes after just two weeks". Dezeen. 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  17. ^ "Jasper National Park Glacier Skywalk Travel Information".
  18. ^ China has banned the construction of skyscrapers in 2021.
  19. ^ Watch the livestream to the Merdeka 118 Tower Spire Completion Ceremony here!, retrieved 2021-12-04
  20. ^ "Millennium-Tower: So grün wird Frankfurts neuer Rekord-Wolkenkratzer". Top Magazin Frankfurt (in German). 2021-12-15. Retrieved 2022-01-28.