High-altitude viewpoint perches over a volcanic crater lake

“The discrete but magnificent beauty of the landscape demands the architectonic response to be austere, in an attempt to merge itself with the surrounding landscape,” added the team. “The experience of the user is enriched through the creation of a platform extending from the edge of the crater over the cliff looking to give the visitor the opportunity to ‘fly’ over the landscape, producing an almost vertigo-like sensation,” said the architects. Constructed   amongst the low grasses and bushy shrubs, the steel-framed wooden platform comprises an upper deck that extends out into the air, and a set of descending steps   that create bleacher-style seating. Related story: Sturgess Architecture’s Glacier Skywalk offers unique views of the Canadian Rockies
Positioned   3,974 metres above sea level, the high-altitude   Quilotoa Crater Overlook offers tourists two different   viewpoints down to the water, which is a   vivid shade of turquoise thanks to the volcanic minerals present. The project also included the addition of a gravel pathway that connects the platform with other nearby tourist facilities. Mera, Andrade and Moreno   designed the viewing deck for   the edge of Quilotoa, a water-filled volcanic crater   with a three-kilometre caldera that was formed after an eruption 800 years ago. The project was instigated   by the Ecuadorian tourist board, which requested   an attraction that would   support the   guided visits, restaurants and accommodation run by the   indigenous   Shalalá community. “At the same time, a space for passive viewing is created, where the user is protected from the elements and is able to have a moment of contemplation and introspection.”
Photograph by Santiago Del HierroThe teak wood surfaces   have a pre-weathered finish that help them to blend in with the overgrown landscape, while balustrades are glazed so as not to   disrupt the views. This wooden observation platform by architects Javier Mera, Jorge Andrade and Daniel Moreno sits high above a   three-kilometre-wide lake inside an active volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes (+ slideshow).

Updated: 11.12.2014 — 18:42