Spiralling Sky Walk brings thrills and chills to Czech mountain valley

by Kim Megson | 13 May 2016

Construction has been completed on a meandering ’Sky Walk’ and observation deck towering 55m (180ft) above a forest valley in the Czech Republic.

Local studio Franek Architects created the dramatic timber and steel structure for a ski and wellness resort in the mountains near Dolni Morava.

The Sky Walk provides a constantly shifting view as you ascend to an altitude of 1,116 meters above sea level. A number of ways lead up the tower, including an accessible wooden ramp for strollers and wheelchairs, and it is possible to descend via a winding 101m steel slide with side windows.

Netting at the very top is suspended across a loop in the walkway, creating a hammock with stomach-churning views below.

“We wanted to create a new kind of experience where people better realise how small they are in the bosom of nature,” said lead architect Zdenik Fránek. “There are constructions of a similar size, but ours takes on an abstract form that suggests the flight of a nocturnal butterfly whose path is seemingly chaotic. I don't know of any other timber constructions of a similar size and purpose.”

The structure – formed of 550 cubic metres of timber, nearly 400 tonnes of steel and over 40,000 pins, clamps and bolts – was largely assembled by hand, as local safety and construction laws limited the use of machinery allowed on the mountain. Assisted by a crane, workers had to climb the structure as it grew taller.

“It was like when the first New York skyscrapers were built,” said Radek Ondruch, executive director of construction company Taros Nova. “Images of the Empire State Building being built came to mind.

“The construction was a unique experience that required us to follow a path of courage and self-knowledge. We found ourselves in a completely different situation from what we’re used to – having to build so high above sea level in difficult terrain with changeable weather, where all of the materials and equipment had to be transported. It was astonishing and chilling at the same time.”

The Sky Walk is available for visitors to the Dolni Morava Relax and Sport Resort, which offers summer and winter adventure activities and includes a wellness hotel, bobsleigh track and snowpark.

Sky Walk  Czech Republic  Franek Architects  Dolni Morava  architecture  design  
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Construction has been completed on a meandering ’Sky Walk’ and observation deck towering 55m (180ft) above a forest valley in the Czech Republic. Local studio Franek Architects created the dramatic timber and steel structure for a ski and wellness resort in the mountains near Dolni Morava. The Sky Walk provides a constantly shifting view as you ascend to an altitude of 1,116 meters above sea level. A number of ways
The Sky Walk is the latest attraction for the Dolni Morava Relax and Sport Resort in the Czech Republic / Jakub Skokan, Martin T?ma / BoysPlayNice
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