Glass-Bottom Viewing Platform Named ‘Step Into the Void’ Opens in French Alps

NEW YORK | Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 3:30pm EDT

A French company installed a glass cube on a peak in the Alps, offering a breathtaking view a kilometer down.

Glass Bottom Viewing Platform 01

This is definitely not for those who are afraid of heights: a French company has opened a new attraction in the very heart of the Alps, offering everybody to enjoy the breathtaking sights of the mountains. Photo: Chamonix

The new attraction is reported to be the tallest one in Europe. It took three years to build the unusual glass cube that consists of three layers tempered glass fixed with metal to a big support structure.

Everybody who is thrilled with the possibility, of course, if they have no heights phobias, will be able to enjoy a stunning view from the Aiguille du Midi mountain of the landscape, including Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain.

“Step into the Void,” opens to the public Saturday, reports The Huffington Post.

“The ‘Step into the Void’ is a glass room built around a metal frame. Three glass walls, floor and ceiling panels, allow visitors to control their vertigo and experience 1035 meters of space under their feet in total safety! Admire the views from a dramatic perspective! Anyone with vertigo can step in, assured,” invites the company that built the construction on its official website.

“Each of these glass panels is custom built to the highest standards for safety and clarity. The five glass panels (12mm thick) consist of three layers of glass binded together. The structure can withstand winds of more than 220km/ h and a maximum temperature of 60°,” the maker of the attraction explains.

The iconstruction has been designed by Pierre-Yves Chays. September, 19, 2013 marked the beginning of the installation works during which a special method was used, quite popular across Europe and the US.

The “Step into the Void” was inspired by the “Skywalk”, the huge glass walkway overlooking the Grand Canyon in the US state of Arizona.

The $31-million horseshoe-shaped Grand Canyon Skywalk was opened six years ago. It was designed so visitors can gaze 4,000 ft (1,200 m) down its glass bottom to take in the breathtaking panorama.

The skywalk is considered to be one of the most astonishing architectural wonders of the world. It is coposed of glass and extends 21 m beyond the canyon’s edge.

According to its creators, the attraction is 3 m wide and has 1.5 m-high glass walls. Steel beams were driven 14 m into the canyon wall to guarantee safety.

“Though the construction could theoretically hold several hundred people at a time, only 120 visitors are allowed at a time,” assures Environmental Graffiti.

Speaking about the tallest constructions, it should be noted that New York’s One World Trade Center was declared the highest building in the U.S last month.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has officially titled the 1,776 feet-tall New York City’s One World Trade Center the tallest building in the U.S.

In case you didn’t know: the World Trade Center was built as a monument to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and its architects intended to capture the echo of America’s founding year in the structure’s height.

Its height without the spire also holds symbolism; it is the height of the original World Trade Center into which crashed two planes.

“This was a quest to put something meaningful and symbolic on that site because of the horrible history of what happened on that site,” said Antony Wood, the council’s executive director.

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