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Chicago skyscraper viewing platform tilts visitors over the edge


May 28, 2014

A new viewing platform has been installed at 360 Chicago that tilts visitors out over a 1000 ft (305 m) drop

A new viewing platform has been installed at 360 Chicago that tilts visitors out over a 1000 ft (305 m) drop

Image Gallery (4 images)

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

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

What could go wrong ... oh ... right:

"(1996, Toronto) Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane of glass with his shoulder and plunged twenty-four floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry, thirty-nine, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students. Garry had previously conducted the demonstration of window strength without mishap, according to police reports. The managing partner of the law firm that employed the deceased told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Garry was "one of the best and brightest" members of the two-hundred-man association."

Bruce Seven

@ Bruce - Why it could go wrong...oh...right:

As stated in your police blurb, he had performed the stunt muntiple times. Quite possibly on the same pane.

He didn't just lean against the pane, he threw himself at it with force (not exactly what they're designed for).

The glass didn't break. The frame failed (possibly because he had thrown himself at it multiple times?).

Did I mention that windows, especially those in skyscrapers, are designed to have a couple of hundred pounds thrown at them?

The lawyer that threw himself through a window (which wasn't designed for people to throw themselves against) can't really be compared to this addition (which was designed to do precisely what it does).


I hope it is well ventilated to remove the puke fumes.


Doesn't that 1st photo look like a bunch of guys standing at a wall of urinals?

Lyle Verbilion

I get quesy just looking at the photos. I would not go near them. It seems like a cool idea for those who don't mind heights.


I'd pay extra if they had a slot through which you could drop a penny!


Too bad 3 of the 4 pictures, all of the scenics, are in that dumb fish eye lens.

Art Toegemann
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