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This vertiginous viewing platform in the Canadian Rockies was designed by Calgary firm Sturgess Architecture with a strengthened glass floor that provides a view straight down to the valley below.

Timber cabin by TYIN Tegnestue overlooks wild Norwegian landscape.

This wooden viewing cabin raised on stilts above the rugged landscape of southern Norway was designed by TYIN Tegnestue.

This wooden viewing cabin raised on stilts above the rugged landscape of southern Norway was designed by TYIN Tegnestue.

This wooden viewing cabin raised on stilts above the rugged landscape of southern Norway was designed by TYIN Tegnestue.

A national park in the Netherlands is the setting for this old water tower, which Dutch firm Zecc Architecten transformed into an observation point by twisting staircases through its middle.

A national park in the Netherlands is the setting for this old water tower, which Dutch firm Zecc Architecten transformed into an observation point by twisting staircases through its middle.

A national park in the Netherlands is the setting for this old water tower, which Dutch firm Zecc Architecten transformed into an observation point by twisting staircases through its middle.

Visitors to this lakeside concrete tower in the Netherlands can scale its walls, jog up to an observation deck on its roof, or sail a zip wire across the water from a balcony.

Visitors to this lakeside concrete tower in the Netherlands can scale its walls, jog up to an observation deck on its roof, or sail a zip wire across the water from a balcony.

Visitors to this lakeside concrete tower in the Netherlands can scale its walls, jog up to an observation deck on its roof, or sail a zip wire across the water from a balcony.

This 25-metre wooden lookout in the Czech Republic by Mjölk Architekti is named Cucumber Tower in an attempt to discourage association with phallic forms.

This concrete staircase into the air by Lisbon architecture studio Ateliermob functions as a riverside amphitheatre.

This concrete staircase into the air by Lisbon architecture studio Ateliermob functions as a riverside amphitheatre.

An outdoor elevator by Spanish architects Vaumm connects the mountainside neighbourhoods of a Spanish town to those in the valley.

An outdoor elevator by Spanish architects Vaumm connects the mountainside neighbourhoods of a Spanish town to those in the valley.

An outdoor elevator by Spanish architects Vaumm connects the mountainside neighbourhoods of a Spanish town to those in the valley.