Chicago skyscraper viewing platform tilts visitors over the edge
By Stu Robarts
May 28, 2014
A new attraction has been installed at a Chicago skyscraper for visitors with a head for heights. 360 Chicago, formerly the John Hancock Observatory, has installed a viewing platform with a difference. Tilt gradually leans visitors by up to 30 degrees out over a 1000 ft (305 m) drop.
The idea was conceived by engineering company Thornton Tomasetti, with a view of letting people explore their own limits. Naturally, a great deal of planning and development was required. The original drawings of the building had to be studied along with measurements from the existing viewing platform. From there, a process of continuous review and revision was required until the design was finalized.
The initial fabrication of the steel structure was completed in February this year, and the platform was installed later that month. In order to do so, the west portion of the existing viewing platform had to be remodeled, setting the steel frame, attaching the hydraulic unit, testing the unit and finishing the detail of the new space.
The 360 Chicago building sits close to the shoreline of Lake Michigan and visitors to the viewing floor have impressive 360-degree views. The Tilt platform itself can accommodate eight users at a time and moves out using hydraulic cylinders. Once the guests are situated safely inside the compartments, which are on the 94th floor of the building, the platform tilts out by 19 degrees, then 25 degrees and then 30 degrees.
Tilt overlooks Chicago's Magnificent Mile, a 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that features shops, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues. The attraction itself is owned by Montparnasse 56 Group, which also runs the the Observation Deck at Montparnasse Tower in Paris, France, and the Berliner Fersehturm / TV Tower in Berlin, Germany.
Visitors can currently check out Tilt for an introductory rate of US$5 (plus the cost of the general admission).
The video below provides an introduction to Tilt.
Source: 360 Chicago
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