Ask a thrill-seeker and they’ll likely tell you, it’s no longer impressive enough for skyscrapers to be just a super tall building in the world, they have to offer something rather exhilarating too.
Today, visitors want to dine, climb, and even slide or bungee jump — high in the sky. And to celebrate Skyscraper Day, we’ve done a little research of buildings that offer just that.
Here are five gravity-defying skyscraper experiences from around the world that’s sure to get any daredevils’ hearts racing.
Starting with an example on our home turf, the Q1 Building of Surfers Paradise is home to the SkyPoint Observation Deck, offering the Gold Coast’s highest attraction. Here, adrenaline junkies can book an experience called the SkyPoint Climb, involving the highest external building climb in all of Australia. The journey begins at an already dizzying height from level 77, before visitors then make their way right to the peak of the building. And should you feel extra-adventurous, try walking on the edge of the stairs, with nothing but 270 metres of air, between you and the ground.
Fun fact: The 97.7m tall spire that gives the Q1 its 'tallest building in Australia' title is lit up by a cluster of LED lights that illuminate the spire at night, where it can be seen over 200km away.
For many visitors, bungy jumping in New Zealand has almost become a rite of passage. All over the country you can leap from bridges, rail viaducts, specially made platforms perched on the edge of cliffs, and stadium roofs. But did you know that you can also take the ultimate leap of faith from the country’s highest building? Based in the Auckland Sky Tower, the SkyJump experience gives you 11 seconds of pure adrenaline, as you plunge 53 floors down at a speed of 85kph. You’re going to want to kiss the ground when you land.
Fun fact: The Sky Tower is built to withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake located within a 20-kilometre radius, and has sensors that will return the lifts to the ground if building sway exceeds predetermined limits.
Never mind taking the elevator to make your way down from the top of the colossal U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, as thanks to the SkySlide experience, you can slide your way down instead — well, at least part of the way down. Known for being the tallest building in the city, the bold and the brave can glide from the 70th to the 69th floor, via a slide made of glass affixed to the outside of the building, 1,000 feet up in the air. Both terrifying and thrilling, it goes without saying that this particular slide is not like the ones you grew up with.
Fun fact: The U.S. Bank Tower was the tallest building in the world with a rooftop heliport, from its completion in 1989 until 2010, when the China World Trade Centre Tower III was completed.
Suffer from vertigo? If you answered yes, perhaps you best read on. On the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building in Chicago, you’ll find the tower’s observatory space, aptly named 360 CHICAGO. From here, adventure-seekers are offered a one-of-a-kind experience called TILT, involving a glass and steel contraption that takes steady nerves to tackle. Eight visitors at a time, the moveable platform tilts at a 30-degree angle, 1,000 feet over the street, generating downward-facing views of Chicago. And just in case you didn’t know, Chicago is nicknamed the ‘Windy City’, so interpret that how you wish.
Fun fact: In 2018, an express elevator, with 6 people on board, plummeted 84 floors before being wedged between the 12th and 11th floors. The rescue operation required a hole to be cut in the concrete elevator shaft, with unbelievably, no serious injuries incurred.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the honour for the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, unsurprisingly belongs to Dubai. And naturally, the world’s highest building should also play host to the world’s highest restaurant, At.mosphere — offering a more lavish way to get your adrenaline fix. Located on the 122nd floor and rising 442 metres from the ground, diners are spoilt with surrounding floor-to-ceiling windows, showcasing breathtaking views of sparkling Dubai, and taking fine dining to extreme measures.
Fun fact: At the peak of its construction, the Burj Khalifa employed over 12,000 international workers and totalled over 22 million man-hours during its six year construction.