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February 17, 2022

Olson Kundig's The Century Project at the Space Needle wins AIA Award

Photo by Hufton + Crow [enlarge]
The renovated space needle has 200% more glass than the original 1962 structure.

Olson Kundig's The Century Project at the Space Needle (led by principal/owner Alan Maskin) has won a 2022 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Architecture Honor Award.

This awards program highlights the best in contemporary architecture.

The Century Project, which was completed in 2019, is a $100 million renovation of the Space Needle. The renovation focused on enhancing the visitor experience. The new design includes nearly 200% more glass than the original structure, including the world's first and only rotating glass floor, new glass barriers with integral glass benches on the observation deck, a new steel and glass stairway and glass-floored oculus connecting all three floors, and revised interiors throughout the “top house” area of the Needle. The 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.

According to the architect, 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.” The scope of the project also included necessary mechanical, building envelope and structural updates.

“We were thrilled to learn that our approach to re-use and reinvention at Seattle's Space Needle received a 2022 National Architecture Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects,” shares Alan Maskin in a press release. “A construction project 500 feet in the air required fantastic collaborators and a brave client. Creating a space that imagines new ways to observe a growing city against the ancient Pacific Northwest geography introduced a new experience of the unstable edge of the Pacific Rim. Congratulations and gratitude to the entire project team!”

The project team includes: Naomi Mason, interior design; Hoffman Construction, general contractor; Arup, structural engineer and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer of record; Front, Inc., glazing consultant and RDH, building envelop consultant.

For the full list of 2022 AIA Architecture Award winners visit https://www.aia.org/resources/6473684-2022-aia-awards---architecture

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