New observation deck lets visitors ‘float’ 10,000ft above the ground

A new observation deck gives intrepid explorers the chance to ‘float’ 10,000ft above the ground.

The Ötzi Peak 3251m viewing platform is located in South Tyrol, Italy, right on the summit of one of the peaks at the Schnals Valley Glacier.

As the name suggests, it’s 3,251m above sea level (just over 10,000ft). Therefore, it’s no surprise that the platform offers some pretty spectacular views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains and sprawling valley, not to mention the eye-catching glacial landscape.

The platform, created by noa* network of architecture, has been designed to give visitors the impression that they are floating in the air. In fact, the platform only touches the ground where there is ‘static necessity’, according to the architectural firm.

A view of a new observation deck in the Italian alps
The new observation deck

Construction was finished in August 2020 so the platform has already opened its doors to the public, and it’s sure to be a hit with adventurers.

Inside you’ll find a ‘viewing funnel’ which is designed to merge with the landscape, and leads out to a large glass railing so that you can walk out above the landscape and take in the views – the idea is that you’ll feel like you are flying.

The viewing funnel on a new observation deck which leads to a glass panel
The viewing funnel leads to a glass panel

The Ötzi Peak gets its name from the famous Iceman, Ötzi, a natural mummy of a man who was found in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps.

The platform itself is located right where he was discovered, just metres from the border between Italy and Austria.

The deck has been designed so that visitors feel like they are 'floating'
The deck has been designed so that visitors feel like they are ‘floating’

Visitors who want to explore can take the Schnalstaler Gletscherbahn AG cable car right to the summit.

While it’s in a pretty remote setting, there’s actually an alpine hotel just a stone’s throw away for those who want to make a longer break out of it.

A visitor looks out at the snow-capped mountains from a new observation deck in Italy
A visitor looks out at the landscape from a new observation deck in Italy

Hotel Grawand, which claims to be the highest hotel in Europe, is easy to reach thanks to the cable car, and offers some pretty spectacular views of the landscape from its rooms and terrace.

You can find out more about the Ötzi Peak 3251m project on the noa* network of architecture website.

  • During the coronavirus pandemic, countries may be subject to a change in travel restrictions. Always check the latest FCDO advice for your chosen destination before planning, booking, or going on a trip.


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