Space & Innovation

Transparent 'Skyslide' Planned for LA Tower

Skyslide will sit about 1,000 feet above the sidewalk and allow visitors to glide from the 70th floor down to the 69th. Wheeee?

Think a glass-bottomed skyscraper observation deck doesn't provide enough of a thrill? You're in luck.

Pick out your thickest pants because OUE Skyspace Los Angeles is planning to open a long transparent glass "Skyslide" between upper floors of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown L.A. Wheee?

20 Mega-Tall Buildings By 2020

Skyslide is part of larger plans to open a new observation deck with 360-degree views of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Visitors will be able to head up there and look for the San Gabriel Mountains, the Pacific Ocean and L.A. landmarks from the skyscraper's upper floors.

The indoor-outdoor observation area, called OUE Skyspace Los Angeles, is a $50 million project led by Singapore-based developer OUE and the architectural firm Gensler, Designboom reported. When completed, it's expected to be the tallest open-air observation deck in California.

Dream This Up: Structures Meld Art And Design

The plans include the Skyslide, which will sit about 1,000 feet above the sidewalk and allow visitors to glide from the 70th floor down to the 69th. The four-foot-wide slide will be enclosed on all sides with 1.25-inch thick clear glass and span 45 feet, the official description reads.

"Visitors will experience Skyslide's unparalleled views in a whole new way," the website said, which is kind of an understatement. Condé Nast Traveler put it better, saying the new attraction "looks like a set piece from ‘Mission Impossible.'"

The slide opens to visitors this summer as a main Skyspace attraction. OUE Skyscape Los Angeles announced that the deck will open to the public on June 25 and admission will be $25.

Don't Look Down: Mile-High Tower Revealed

Rather than braving the Skyslide, I'd probably be that guy in the rendering who's crouching at the base with a camera ready to capture whatever insanity is coming down the chute.

My elementary school playground taught me a lot - like don't run on the wet bridge because you'll fall and split your lip open. And avoid the metal slide, especially in hot weather. But hey, I get that others are more adventurous. In L.A., the playground is about to get more elevated.

via Designboom

This week, we covered news that

Hitachi was building a superfast elevator

to zip passengers from the first floor of the CTF building in Guangzhou, China, to the 95th in 43 seconds. That kind of speed, 20 meters per second, is almost a requirement if a person is going to reach their destination in the kind of super tall buildings popping up around the world.

The story inspired us to look at the growth of extreme skyscrapers and devote this week's Tasty Tech slideshow to the 20 buildings expected to reach "mega tall" status by 2020, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

In 2000, the average height of the tallest buildings was 1,230 feet. By 2010, that average rose to 1,440 feet and by 2020, the average height is expected to reach 1,962.

CTBUH

predicts that within this decade, we will see a kilometer-tall building. That's 3,280 feet!

Here are 20 buildings -- from the tallest to the "shortest" -- that the council expects to see piercing skylines by 2020, if they aren't already.

Height to tip: 3,281

Number of elevators: 59

Top elevator speed: 10 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2019

Height to tip: 2,723

Number of elevators: 58

Top elevator speed: 10 meters/sec

Completed 2010

Height to tip: 2,165

Number of elevators: 76

Top elevator speed: 10 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2016

Height to tip: 2,101

Number of elevators: 43

Top elevator speed: unknown

Completion date not scheduled

Height to tip: 2,093

Number of elevators: unknown

Top elevator speed: unknown

Completion scheduled for 2020

Height to tip: 2,073

Number of elevators: 106

Top elevator speed: 18 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2015

Height to tip: 2,087

Number of elevators: 84

Top elevator speed: 12.5 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2017

Height to tip: 1,972

Number of elevators: 96

Top elevator speed: 6 meters/sec

Completed 2012

Height to tip: 1,957

Number of elevators: unlisted

Top elevator speed: unknown

Completion scheduled for 2016

Height to tip: 1,824

Number of elevators: 58

Top elevator speed: 10 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2016

Height to tip: 1,808

Number of elevators: unknown

Top elevator speed: unknown

Completion date not scheduled

Height to tip: 1,792

Number of elevators: 71

Top elevator speed: 10.16 meters/sec

Completed 2014

Height to tip: 1,739

Number of elevators: 86

Top elevator speed: 20 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2016

Height to tip: 1,739

Number of elevators: 59

Top elevator speed: unknown

Completion scheduled for 2017

Height to tip: 1,699

Number of elevators: 37

Top elevator speed: 9 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2017

Height to tip: 1,693

Number of elevators: 23

Top elevator speed: 8 meters/sec

Completion date not scheduled

Height to tip: 1,674

Number of elevators: 45

Top elevator speed: 10 meters/sec

Completion scheduled for 2020

Height to tip: 1,667

Number of elevators: 61

Top elevator speed: 16.8 meters/sec

Completed 2004

Height to tip: 1,640

Number of elevators: 61

Top elevator speed: unknown

Completed 2011

Height to tip: 1,622

Number of elevators: 91

Top elevator speed: 10 meters/sec

Completed 2008