Space Needle Re‑Opens after Historic Renovation
Olson Kundig is excited to announce the re-opening of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle after a historic renovation led by Olson Kundig Design Principal Alan Maskin. Maskin’s design removed walls, barriers and floors, replacing them with structural glass to create a dramatically updated visitor experience. With 196% more glass than before, the new immersive experience is defined by awe-inspiring views of Puget Sound, the Seattle Center Campus and the Space Needle itself.
The Space Needle has always been a treasured place where we can observe the contrast between the changing city of Seattle juxtaposed against the natural resources that surround it. Our design ‘widens the lens’ of that human perspective.Alan Maskin, Design Principal
The new, multi-level tower features The Loupe – the world’s first and only revolving glass floor. Visitors to The Loupe can walk, stand or sit on the glass floor suspended 500 feet above the city, taking in never-before-seen views of the Space Needle’s exterior structure and elevators. The new kinetic mechanism powering the floor’s rotation is also visible for the first time, continuing Olson Kundig’s legacy of revealing the inherent beauty of kinetic systems.
Higher up, at the 520-foot level, visitors will step off elevators to be greeted by a completely unobstructed panorama. Maskin’s design expands views in all directions with new glass doors and seamless floor-to-ceiling glass panels. Outside, the wire caging and partial walls on the observation deck have been replaced with 11-by-7-foot structural glass barriers with integral glass benches. These “Skyrisers” allow guests to slide back against the glass panels to experience the feeling of floating above the city. With no walls, seams or mullions between each glass panel, guests can now enjoy uninterrupted views of the city and beyond.
A new grand staircase connects the upper and lower levels via an open circular stairway cantilevered out from the Space Needle’s core. At the base of the curved steel-and-glass stairway is a glass-floored oculus that reveals the Space Needle’s superstructure for the first time, as well as the elevators and their ascending and descending counterweights.
I believe we’ll look back at this as a pivotal moment in the history of the Space Needle. This project both connects us back to our roots, to the vision that my father and his partners had in 1962, and guides us into the future for future generations to enjoy.Jeff Wright, Chairman, Space Needle, LLC
While the Space Needle appears materially unchanged from the outside, updated building systems and the dramatically enhanced visitor experience bring the Space Needle into the future, preserving its legacy for generations to come.
For more information on the Space Needle renovation, please visit https://www.spaceneedle.com/renovation/.
Olson Kundig Design Team: Alan Maskin, Design Principal; Blair Payson, AIA, LEED® AP, Project Architect; Marlene Chen, AIA, LEED® AP, Crystal Coleman, LEED® AP, Alex Fritz, Julia Khorsand, Hayden Robinson, Architectural Staff; Naomi Mason, IIDA, LEED® AP, Laina Navarro, Interiors Staff.
Engineering Partners: Front, Fives Lund, Arup and Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA).
Construction Partners: Seneca Group, Hoffman Construction Company, Herzog Glass and Breedt Production Tooling & Design.