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Seattle Space Needle Earns Unique Renovation Courtesy of Olson KundigWednesday 24 October 2018
Seattle Space Needle Earns Unique Renovation Courtesy of Olson Kundig ⇒ The Seattle Space Needle is one of the most beloved infra-structures in the entire world as well as the most famous landmark in the city. Recently, the massive building earned a unique renovation worth $100 million by the hands of Olson Kundig, a renowned design and architecture practice that has an elemental approach to design. Today, CovetED explores the new look for the building which just out of curiosity was built in 400 days and officially opened in 1962.
Originally constructed by architect John Graham to give visibility to the northwestern US city, the futuristic and pioneering structure presents “skinny legs” and a “spaceship” looking top. It was hampered only by the scarcity of certain building materials.
“The project was all about transparency but glass was very hard to come by as construction was booming and Seattle’s urban downtown was exploding in the 1950s and 60s”, explained the design principal and co-owner of the Seattle-based practice.
Instead of adding more elements, Olson Kundig removed a few, from small windows to walls as well as other barriers. The Needle has always been known for majoring on views outwards, and according to Maskin, the goal was to “We wanted instead to find – and reveal – the underlying logic of the original architecture, which was so innovative from an engineering perspective.”
Maskin and his experienced team used 176 tonnes and 10 different types of glass in order to achieve this final look. Now, the Space Needle features seamless floor-to-ceiling glass panels and canted structural glass barriers with integrated glass benches on the observation deck. Thrill-seekers can lean out and feel as if they are floating 500ft above the city, a sensation they can partially replicate on the world’s first and only revolving glass floor below, where the Needle’s exterior structure and the mechanism powering the rotation is also on view for the first time. The three levels are connected by a new ramp staircase that highlights a large glass oculus at its base, revealing the superstructure of the Needle.
While due to the fact that it is a historic landmark, consequently, there were some things that cannot be changed in regards to its construction and also it remained opened while it was being renovated, so a lot of challenges arose from that, nevertheless, the Seattle Space Needle has now truly become what it was meant to be and represent.
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