12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Lookout towers are often more dramatic pieces of architecture than tall buildings because they only have a single floor - the top one. This means that they can be very skeletal and the design is all about a dramatic staircase. Here are some of our favorite examples, accidental architectural gems, like mini Eiffel Towers used for watching everything from forest fires to smugglers.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Ville Hara, Korkeasaari Lookout Tower

Situated on a site eighteen meters above sea, with spectacular views of the sea and the city of Helsinki, the tower is a delicately transparent landmark of Korkeasaari Island..


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Killesberg tower, Germany

Established in 1889 Helsinki's Korkeasaari Zoo, located on Korkeasaari Island, has animals from Finland and around the world housed in large natural enclosures.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Landesgartenschau Wismar, Germany

Completed in 2000 the Killesberg tower is a 40m high observation tower, a cable-stayed construction designed by Jörg Schlaich.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Double Helix Look Out Tower. Kings Park. Perth.

An interesting variation on a fire watch tower.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Tower on top of Pyramidenkogel, Carinthia

This has since been replaced by a wooden structure. I like the odd shape of the platform and the fact that the spiral stair winds itself alongside the core, completely independently.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Petrin Observation Tower, Prague

Although it is much shorter than the Eiffel Tower at around 200ft, it stands on the Petrin hill,,so the top is actually higher. It was built in 1891 and was used as an observation tower as well as a transmission tower.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Pine Creek Fire Tower, NY

In 1928 the Conservation Department's Division of State Parks erected a standard 60' Aermotor LS40 tower on Mt. Tuscarora on the southwest side of Quaker Run. When jurisdiction over several State Parks towers was transferred to Forest Fire Control in 1931, Mt. Tuscarora was not one of them. The Park retained jurisdiction and staffed the tower only in times of high fire danger.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Uetliberg lookout tower Zurich


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

A wind turbine with an observation deck

Wind turbine with observation deck in Westerholt / Germany


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Lookout Tower Polednik

Built on the Czech/German border. This lookout tower was built in the 70s to wiretap German radio signals.


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Bostoren Forest Tower, Netherlands


12 Lookout Towers to Protect the Realm

Lookout tower on Podvrsi u Veselice hill, Czech Republic