The Century Project at the Space Needle

The Century Project at the Space Needle

Olson Kundig

McVey Oakley Design Studio
Seattle, Washington, USA | View Map
Project Year
Visitor Center
Hufton + Crow
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Restroom wall tile (ceramic), Egress stair tileDaltile
Volume 1.0
Modern Dimensions
Restroom wall tile (glass)Ann Sacks
Lucian Glass Mosaic
Sheet carpetingBENTLEY
Acoustic plaster ceilingFellert
Even Better
Resilient sheet flooring – Color #171 CementForbo Flooring Systems
Recessed ceiling lighting fixturesiGuzzini

Product Spec Sheet
Restroom wall tile (ceramic), Egress stair tile
Modern Dimensions, Volume 1.0 by Daltile
Restroom wall tile (glass)
Lucian Glass Mosaic by Ann Sacks
Sheet carpeting
Farrago by BENTLEY
Acoustic plaster ceiling
Even Better by Fellert
Resilient sheet flooring – Color #171 Cement
Recessed ceiling lighting fixtures

The Century Project at the Space Needle

Olson Kundig as Architects

Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle has become an international icon of the Pacific Northwest and a symbol of Seattle. Constructed in just over a year, the Space Needle pointed the way toward the future with a sense of optimism and possibility. In its 55th year, the Space Needle is again looking to the future with the Century Project, a significant redesign that will preserve the Space Needle’s legacy by creating a new visitor experience for the next 50 years.

Led by Design Principal Alan Maskin, Olson Kundig’s design of the Space Needle’s new observation deck and restaurant level “core and shell” builds on the same conceptual premise that originally informed the Space Needle – a place devoted to observation. The new design includes the world’s first rotating glass floor on the restaurant level, floor-to-ceiling glass barriers with integral glass benches on the observation deck, a new steel and glass stairway with a glass-floored oculus connecting all three floors, and revised interiors throughout the “top house” of the Needle. The Space Needle’s new enhanced sense of transparency continues Olson Kundig’s longstanding interest in breaking down lines that demarcate inside and outside, bringing emphasis back to the Needle’s original guiding principle: providing unparalleled views of the city.

Olson Kundig’s transformation of the landmark tower is focused on revealing the ingenuity of the original structure, parts of which, including the mechanics of the revolving floor, will be made visible for the first time. Improving the visitor experience was a primary design directive, with the revolving glass restaurant floor being a key component. This new transparent floor will provide a 360-degree rotating window that guests can walk on, revealing a new view down the Needle’s steel superstructure to the Seattle Center campus below. The scope of the project, which is certified LEED® Gold for Commercial Interiors, also includes necessary mechanical, building envelope and structural updates such as seismic retrofitting and accessibility improvements.

“In some respects, our design for the Space Needle was more subtractive than additive, peeling away the many decades of additions and modifications that deviated from the purity of the original 1962 design. Our task was to comprehend and make the original structure more legible to visitors. The design allows visitors to witness the constantly changing city of Seattle below them – as it was always intended to do – and also to see the engineering brilliance of the design in new ways.” ― Alan Maskin, Design Principal


Material Used :
1. North American Terrazzo – Terrazzo flooring –product # NAT-2016-122
2. Bentley – Sheet carpeting – Farrago broadloom in Ferris Wheel (field)
3. Bentley – Sheet carpeting – Farrago broadloom in Strongman (accent)
4. DalTile – Restroom wall tile (ceramic) – Modern Dimensions, 4“ x 12“ in Arctic White
5. Ann Sacks – Restroom wall tile (glass) – Lucian Glass Mosaic, 3/4“ x 3/4“ in Oxygen
6. DalTile – Egress stair tile – Volume 1.0, 12“ x 12“ in Reverb Ash 
7. Linoleum – Resilient sheet flooring – Color #171 Cement
8. FilzFelt – Wood slat acoustic wall assembly – Color 220, Rehbraun
9. Wood wall – White Oak (slat), Poplar (base)
10. Iguzzini – Recessed ceiling lighting fixtures
11. Luminii – LED strip lighting fixtures
12. Lovair – Restroom fixtures including toilet roll holders, hand dryers, faucets, soap dispensers andwaste bins
13. Architectural Safety Components – Illuminated exit signs
14. Sesame Access – Platform lift
15. Fellert – Acoustic plaster ceiling – Even Better 
16. 12th Avenue Iron – custom sconces in restrooms
17. Hanset – Custom metal handrails and brackets
18. Cement Elegance – Custom concrete restroom sinks
19. Kuraray – Supplier: Trosifol™ and SentryGlas™ interlayers used in glass observation deck barriers and glass floor
20. Thiele Glass – Fabricator: glass floor, observation deck glass barriers, and observation deck glass benches
21. Pulp Studio – Fabricator: vertical glazing units at 520-foot and 500-foot observation levels, as well as curved glass at stairs
22. Apex Steel – Fabricator: custom metal stairs
23. Fives Lund – Fabricator: revolving floor mechanism and structure
24. CW Keller – Fabricator: wood slat wall

This story is available in multiple languages
Project Credits
Structural Engineer and Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineer of Record
Acoustical Engineer
Turntable Engineer
Glazing Consultant
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