9 gravity-defying building designs for people who aren’t afraid of heights

From a building with a 350-foot waterfall to one with the world's largest infinity pool, these skyscrapers are not for the faint of heart.

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From a building with a 350-foot waterfall to one with the world’s largest infinity pool, these skyscrapers are not for the faint of heart.
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Shutterstock/-/AFP/Getty Images

Skyscrapers are everywhere in big cities, but they’re not built equally. Some building designs are more daring than others.

There are plenty of unique building designs with thrill-seeking features, from a spiral structure that overlooks a forest in Denmark to a skyscraper with a glass-paneled elevator that moves vertically and diagonally in Japan.

Here are nine gravity-defying building designs across the globe that you should only visit if you aren’t afraid of heights.


A new 55-floor skyscraper in London has a rooftop infinity pool with transparent sides and a see-through floor.

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The design for Infinity London.
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Compass Pools

If all goes according to plan, construction for Infinity London will begin in 2020. Although some people have wondered how you would get in and out of the sky-high pool, the designer told INSIDER’s Rachel Hosie that the answer is a spiral staircase enclosed in a tube (that’s enclosed in another tube).

Read more: The world’s first rooftop infinity pool with 360 degree views is set to open on top of a skyscraper in London


The Vessel is a $200 million art installation at New York’s Hudson Yards.

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The Vessel.
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lev radin/Shutterstock

The honeycomb-shaped structure, designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick, rises 150 feet in the air and boasts sweeping views of the Hudson River and surrounding buildings.

Read more: We climbed Vessel, the $200 million art installation at New York’s Hudson Yards. Here’s what it was like.


Guizhou province in China has a skyscraper with a 350-foot waterfall cascading down the side.

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Liebian International Building (left) in Guiyang in China’s southwestern Guizhou province.
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-/AFP/Getty Images

In addition to housing one of the largest man-made waterfalls in the entire world, Liebian International Plaza includes a hotel, office space, and shopping mall.

Read more: One of the world’s largest artificial waterfalls is a 350-foot man-made structure on the side of a Chinese skyscraper. Take a look.


Camp Adventures Forest Tower in Denmark is a nearly 150-foot spiral tower that visitors can climb to get a unique look at Gisselfeld Klosters Forest.

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Camp Adventures Forest Tower in Denmark.
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EFFEKT Architects / Camp Adventure

The observation deck was designed by EFFEKT Architects to blend in with its natural surroundings. It’s made of weathered steel and locally sourced oak.

Read more: Denmark’s 150-foot spiral observation deck is an architectural masterpiece, but the photos show it’s not for the faint of heart


Vincom Landmark 81 tower in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is the tallest building in the country, according to The Skyscraper Center.

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Vincom Landmark 81 tower in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
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ngoc tran/Shutterstock

The 1,540-foot structure is home to a five-star restaurant, luxury hotel, spa, movie theater, and indoor skating rink.

Read more: The tallest skyscrapers of 2018 include a helipad, sky gardens, and an indoor skating rink


The Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, won the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2018.

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Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea.
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Nattakit Jeerapatmaitree/Shutterstock

As INSIDER’s Aria Bendix wrote in December 2018, the building houses the world’s fastest elevator, which is known as the Sky Shuttle. The double-decker chamber can travel from the ground level to the top in just one minute.

If the prospect of riding in an elevator that moves at 22 miles per hour isn’t enough to scare you away, perhaps the Lotte World Tower’s glass-bottomed observation deck on the 121st floor is.

Read more: The most impressive skyscraper of 2018 has the fastest elevator in the world. Take a look.


Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel is home to the tallest and longest infinity pool in the world.

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The Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore.
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TILT Photography/Shutterstock

The infinity pool overlooks the Singapore skyline from atop the 636-foot-tall building. The hotel also has luxury shopping malls and multiple spas.


Rides in Umeda Sky Building’s glass-paneled elevators are not for the faint of heart.

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Umeda Sky Building in Osaka, Japan.
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Shutterstock

The elevators move diagonally as well as vertically to deliver people to the building’s floating garden observatory, which is hollow in the center and allows spectators to look down at the city below.

Read more: 20 of the most outrageous-looking skyscrapers of all time


Although the skyscraper at 111 West 57th Street isn’t the tallest building in New York City, it holds the title for skinniest skyscraper in the world.

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111 West 57th Street in New York, New York.
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StreetEasy

The building boasts stunning views of Central Park and the city’s skyline. However, as a result of its thin frame, the luxury condominium complex sways considerably, according to Gizmodo.