The Seattle Space Needle has been described as a ‘glass jewel box in the sky’ and SPS had an integral part in creating the revolving glass floor for the 2018 refurbishment of this iconic building. Named the Century Project, and led by renowned project architect Olson Kunig, the design brief called for enhanced transparency to enhance the unparalleled views of Seattle. A new revolving glass floor — the world’s only! —  was one of the primary design directives to the team and using SPS floor panels ensured its realization.

SPS was chosen as it is:

  • capable of being manufactured to very tight tolerances to allow the glass floor to glide past it
  • was light in comparison to other materials, but still capable of withstanding applied forces
  • easily shipped to site, prefabricated and ready for lifting

In total, 48 SPS panels were used to form the inner radius of the revolving glass floor level, with another 48 glass panels gliding past them as the floor rotates. With all of this happening 500 feet in the air, the Space Needle continues to evoke the space age feelings from when it was first built.

“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. “

The project has subsequently won many awards including an LEED Gold Certification and Engineering News Record’s Best of the Best Projects for 2020. And, most deservedly, Olson Konig was awarded the 2022 AIA National Architect Honor Award for this most endearing and enduring project.

SPS Technology prides itself on solving unusual design challenges with our structural composite panel, SPS. Sandwich Plate System does not crack, spall, separate or rupture and can withstand extreme loads and absorb high-energy events, making it a unique choice in building materials.  Our team of engineers relishes the opportunity to solve challenges like the Seattle Space Needle renovation through to prefabricated modular holding cells. and direct vehicular impact protection.

Research and development into SPS is ongoing, and we’re always interested in helping to solve difficult design problems. Keep up with our latest news on our Special Applications LinkedIn Page.