The Space Needle Century Project

Seattle, WA

A seismic and sustainability upgrade for an architectural icon at the heart of a booming city


  • The world’s first and only revolving glass floor
  • Seismic improvements on the structure’s “legs”
  • Low-flow plumbing system achieving 40% reduced water use
  • LEED Gold® 

  • Winner: ENR Northwest 2020 Project of the Year

  • Winner: ENR Northwest 2020 Regional Best Project Award for Renovation/Restoration

  • Winner: 2019 Seattle 2030 District Award for Leadership

This city icon, completed in 1962 for the World’s Fair, required a 21st Century renovation that would expand upon its dramatic 360-degree views to heighten the visitor experience while meeting sustainability and seismic integrity standards. Early in the design process, O’Brien360 partnered with the project team to assist with implementing sustainable improvements to garner LEED Gold certification.  Renovations to the 57-year-old structure included the installation of the world’s first and only revolving glass floor at the observation deck level, an innovative use of material that protects from overheating in the summer and heat loss in winter; seismic improvements on the Space Needle’s steel legs, and a complete replacement of the plumbing system with low flow features achieving 40% reduced use of water relative to other new and similar

buildings. Sustainable features of the project included highly efficient lighting and HVAC controls, a focus on local sourcing for the restaurant to lower carbon footprint, and diverting from the landfill 77% of the project’s construction waste. As a dedicated steward of the environment, the Space Needle worked with O’Brien360 to create an educational program for visitors using instructional signage throughout the project and a website to illustrate the commonalities between the Space Needle’s sustainable efforts and actionable steps visitors might take in their own lives to create a more sustainable world.