The Century Project
Seattle Space Needle is an iconic, 605-ft.-tall spire at the Seattle Center, with an observation deck & a rotating restaurant. In its 55th year, the Space Needle again looked to the future with the Century Project, a significant redesign that preserves 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 “core and shell” builds on the same conceptual premise that originally informed the Space Needle – a place devoted to observation. The design includes the world’s first rotating glass floor on the lowest 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 focused on revealing the ingenuity of the original structure, parts of which, including the mechanics of the revolving floor, are made visible for the first time. Improving the visitor experience was a primary design directive, with the revolving glass floor being a key component. This new transparent floor provides 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 included necessary mechanical, building envelope and structural updates such as seismic retrofitting and accessibility improvements.
The Century Project & Sesame Access
Sesame Access are proud to have worked with Architect: Olson Kundig and Design Principal: Alan Maskin to design and manufacture a beautiful retracting stairlift which met all ASME 18.1 requirements for the viewing deck at the top of the needle.
The Seattle ADA Lift has been designed and built for the USA market as it conforms to the relevant elements of ASME 18.1.
It is a set of vertically retracting stairs that lower to present an ADA Lift for standing and wheelchair users.
An upper landing rising barrier protects the fall hazard present when the stairs lower, and on lift barriers and handrails rise with the lift enclosing the user to a height of 1100mm on all sides.