Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle is an international icon of the Pacific Northwest and a symbol of Seattle. Now the famous landmark has won the Engineering News-Record’s Project of the Year for Best Renovation/Restoration and we are delighted that SPS was an important piece of the overall winning formula. The scheme, known as the Century Project, was a $100m renovation and significant redesign that has preserved the Space Needle’s legacy by creating a new visitor experience.
Owned by Space Needle Corporation, the lead design team was Olson Kunig, General Contractor Hoffman Construction Co., Structural/MEP Engineer (Top House Renovation) Arup and Acoustic Engineer BRC Acoustics. The renovation was to transform the disk, set 520 ft (158m) in the air, into a ‘glass jewel box in the sky’ and give the landmark’s 1.3 million annual visitors a gasp-inducing experience. The project’s design called for installation of 176 tons of glass material - a whopping 196% more than the Space Needle originally had. The revamp included floor-to-ceiling glass panels, an outdoor observation deck with open-air glass walls and glass benches and a glass-floor oculus at the base of a cantilevered steel, wood and glass staircase that connects to the Loupe, the world’s first and only rotating glass floor.
Forty-eight SPS panels (86.4msq) were used at the inner radius of the revolving floor. Its use minimized construction at height issues and the low weight of SPS panels was an ideal solution for a tall building, where minimal weight at height is required.
SPS Technology representative, Robert Maier commented, ‘What a great thing that this iconic landmark and its remarkable renovation has received a top-rated industry recognition. Despite SPS being just a small piece of the overall solution, it feels good to have been a part of a winning project. Well done to everyone in the team.’