The photos from San Francisco's first skywalk have arrived, and we're swooning. It turns out the real challenge in building a clear-glass cantilevered skywalk off the side of your Twin Peaks home isn't so much getting it to bear weight safely (1.5-inch glass and steel girders pretty much take care of that). The real trouble, according to architect Mark Jensen, is stabilizing the platform, "so it doesn't feel bouncy, like a diving board." To this end, engineers drove steel beams 18 feet into the home to minimize wobble, and the rock-solid effect creates the illusion of floating over the city. The other challenge is convincing houseguests to step out on your highly stable but terrifying skywalk. The homeowner, who prefers to remain anonymous, says, "About a third of his friends won't walk out there. And even then, some of them will only walk on the steel girding."
· Fear & Floating [SF Magazine]