Although walk-on roof lights have been appearing at tourist attractions around the world for a number of years, they are still proving to be a huge draw for visitors who are looking for a unique viewing perspective.
We will always be naturally curious about experiences that challenge the feelings of fear which are almost engraved into our DNA, and standing on glass and looking down from a great height can almost be like a ‘leap of faith.’
The fact of the matter is that with the correct engineering techniques and materials, this type of skylight can safely support a number of fully-grown adults that want a birds-eye view of the ground below.
Let’s take a look at just some of the scariest Walk-On platforms from around the world.
Grand Canyon Skywalk, United States Of America
Although the Grand Canyon Skywalk isn’t exactly what most people would call a skylight, the actual technology is incredibly similar, and since its opening in 2007 it has been allowing visitors to look deep down into the depths of the Grand Canyon.
The walkway has a floor that is made from some of the toughest transparent glass known to man (thankfully), and the distance of the vertical drop below varies from 500ft to 800ft (150m to 240m).
The current capacity is 120 people on the decking at any one time, and the entire structure weighs more than 1.6 million pounds (730,000kg)
Blackpool Tower, United Kingdom
Within the UK, Blackpool Tower has a well-known roof light experience where visitors can take a direct look down at the promenade. Their own ‘Walk of Faith’ once again provides a lesser-known perspective of the seaside town below, and fans of tower architecture can take the time to examine the metal construction in incredible detail.
This is another attraction where it is advisable to have a head for heights, and the local council feel that the viewing pleasure has contributed to the general regeneration of Blackpool as a tourist destination. To enhance the experience, the main wall is also mainly toughened glass, and this allows visitors to immerse themselves in a ‘floor to ceiling’ experience.
The Eiffel Tower, France
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is statistically the most successful paid-for tourist attraction in the world, and they have recently decided to try and follow in Blackpool’s footsteps with the opening of their own glass floor.
This attraction may be one of the most romantic downward vertical views in the world – provided that a couple can both handle the mixed messages coming from their brain. While their heart may be warmed by the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan life below (200ft / 61m), their head will be telling them that there is something not quite right about ‘walking on air’! It has already become a popular ‘selfie’ trend for people to lay down on the floor and capture an image showing the sheer drop behind their face.
CN Tower, Canada
In spite of the impressive efforts of the Grand Canyon, the Blackpool Tower and the Eiffel Tower, they all pale into insignificance when visiting the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.
The transparent glass of their walk-on roof light floor has a thickness of 2.5 inches, and this is probably just as well seeing that the viewing area is 1,122 (342m) feet from the ground.
The CN Tower’s operator boasts that people should feel free to walk around and even jump up and down (although only the bravest will usually consider this), Many visitors even take things one step further and attempt the ‘EdgeWalk’, where it is possible to venture outdoors at the same height and walk around the edge of the tower, overlooking the sheer drop below.
Being able to walk across a glass floor doesn’t have to be as thrill-seeking as standing over sheer drops. The same engineering can be applied to your home or to workplaces as well.
Our Walk-On units can add a unique and contemporary style to any building – both inside, and outside. They are made to leading glass specifications, and can be ordered in standard or custom sizes. Take a look at our products, or give us a call to discuss your options on 0208 462 3557.
Grand Canyon Skywalk via Wikimedia
Blackpool Glass Floor via Geograph
Eiffel Tower via Wikimedia
CN Tower via Wikimedia