Roman architecture had many guiding principles- one of the main ones being perspective and views. Not just how the building looked but also what you could look at from the building. I guess if you lived in the crowded Subura district in Rome where insulae went up to 7 or 9 stories you would be restricted in what you saw from the second or third floor, but more often than not the rich and the super rich could choose to build their houses in nicer locations with grand views.
The building I’m going to describe for this post was not a private building- it was an official building called the Tabularium which can roughly be translated into a records office. The tabularium in Rome lay at the base of the Capitoline hill overlooking the forum. However adding a typical Roman touch to what could have otherwise been a rather drab bureaucratic office, the second storey of the building was given a fantastic lookout over the forum- an arcaded walkway. This fragment of the building still survives from ancient Roman times though has been built over.
The walkway of the tabularium now has to be accessed from inside the Capitoline museum – and it is such a well kept secret that many people often miss visiting it as you have to go right down to the basement (Considering I had to search over 45 minutes to find a way to canteen with very weary feet- I can imagine people missing a lot of things in the museum but the tabularium is easier to access than the restaurant). But once you get there the views of the Forum and the Palatine are spectacular.
And if this is how the views are today, one can only imagine how much more glorious they would have been in the heydays of the Forum!