Snøhetta-Designed Platform in Austria’s Nordkette Mountains Offers Panoramic Views
Acrophobics beware: You may experience stomach-clenching. But just hold on, it’s worth it. This 30-foot-long viewing platform by Snøhetta cantilevers 22 feet out from Austria’s Nordkette mountain range to afford panoramic, practically 3-D views of the Northern Limestone Alps from 6,250 feet above sea level. It’s one of 10 architectural interventions—an amphitheater and yoga platforms among them—by the firm on the Perspektivenweg, or Path of Perspectives, a 1.7-mile hiking trail.
The structures, all in Cor-Ten steel, the same material used for the mountain’s avalanche barriers, are meant to entice hesitant visitors into unfamiliar territory. “Before, except for locals, most people just milled around the drop-off terrace,” managing director of Snøhetta’s Innsbruck office Patrick Lüth notes. Quotes such as Let nature speak and Don’t think, look! by local philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, sprayed on the steel as an anti-rust solution, may help lure them, too.
The five-foot-wide ramp is just a 20-minute cable car ride up from the town of Innsbruck. Visitors can take the funicular back or hike down. Or, in winter, when the ramp functions as a ski jump, non-acrophobes can fly down.