Architecture, Automotive, motorsports, Photography

Architect Juan Miró – the talent behind the COTA Observation Tower


Architect Juan Miró is the talent behind the design of the Observation Tower at the Circuit of the Americas motorsports, recreation and entertainment complex in Austin.

Miró Rivera Architects’ website describes the 251 foot tall Observation Tower structure as a “continuously-welded double-helix stair wrapped in a filigree-like diagrid.”

Each stair run serves as a helical diaphragm that transfers loads to a layered perimeter of vertical and diagonal HSS tubes. The 8” diameter tubes serve as an “outrigger column for lateral load resistance via a series of struts and rods that tie back to the primary structure.”

Accessed via two helical stairs and a high-speed elevator, the viewing deck sits at 230 feet above ground, offering a sweeping panorama of the entire track, as well as downtown Austin. A portion of the floor is structural laminated glass, allowing visitors to look straight down.

These are a few of the many photographs I’ve taken of the tower over the years.