Seattle reopens its Space Needle – but there’s a twist

A $100m renovation has been completed at the Space Needle in Seattle, the main attraction of which is the world’s first revolving glass floor.

Karen Olson, the Space Needle’s chief marketing officer, said: "The original designers of the needle dreamed big, and we continued their vision with this renovation."

The transparent floor, christened "The Loupe", is 152m above ground level and completes rotation every 45 minutes. Here a wine bar will allow guests the chance to try as many regional varieties as they can stomach under the circumstances.

Before and after (Space Needle LLC and Olson Kundig)

Other walls, barriers and floors have also been replaced by structural glass on the observation decks, with glass benches called "Skyrisers" allowing visitors to "sit up, slide back, and experience an intense feeling of floating above the city and offering the ultimate Seattle ‘selfie’ moment", in the words of the project’s press statement.

A grand staircase linking the lower and upper levels is suspended and cantilevered out from the Space Needle’s core.

Construction work on the renovation (Rod Mar)

The renovation was designed by local architect Olson Kundig, with design and engineering partners Front, Fives Lund, Arup and Magnusson Klemencic Associates, and construction partners Seneca Group and Hoffman Construction Company.

The 184m-high monument was built in 1962 for the Seattle World Fair; the renovation work announced last year.

Top image courtesy of John Lok

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