Space Needle Renovation

Our Client

Olson Kundig

The Project

  • Architectural Acoustics
  • Mechanical System Noise Control

Built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle underwent a major renovation to carry this symbol of the northwest into the 21st century. Renovations included new glass walls, glass benches, and the world’s first and only revolving glass floor.

A new stairway connects all three levels with a glass-floored “oculus” window on the level below.  

Replacing the existing floor and soffit with glass meant relocating all mechanical and services equipment from the underfloor space to the ceiling to allow unobstructed views for visitors.

This project won the National AIA Honor Award – 2022

Our Role

BRC provided architectural acoustics and mechanical system noise control design for the renovated Space Needle. Sound control between visitor levels was accomplished by incorporating acoustical material into the slotted wood architecture of the Oculus stairway. A high-finish acoustical ceiling material was specified for the observation level and other areas to control reverberant sound levels and overall loudness during periods of high occupancy.

The relocation of mechanical systems into extremely limited spaces in the ceilings above visitor areas necessitated specialized design for noise control. BRC developed noise criteria for occupied spaces and met the challenge of incorporating noise control elements into the system design for compliance with established criteria.


BRC | Acoustics & Audiovisual Design