Beyond the Space Needle in Seattle

Beyond The Space Needle In Seattle

(CNN) — Seattle will be a city on the edge. So much of Seattle’s recent history will be about pushing boundaries, by music to art to technology.

Beyond The Space Needle In Seattle

When award-winning architect Tom Kundig first visited in 1962, in which was for the Seattle World’s Fair. “in which was a pretty special moment for Seattle. as well as even as a kid, you sort of recognize in which in which was a pretty fantastic place.”

Beyond The Space Needle In Seattle

As a principal as well as owner of Olson Kundig, a design practice based in Seattle’s historical Pioneer Square district, Kundig’s 30 years as an architect have earned him renown from the United States as well as abroad as well as recognition from the forms of architectural awards, book as well as film projects, professorships as well as more. His buildings meld the mechanical with the natural, reflecting Seattle’s position as an urban center from the midst of majestic natural beauty, by Puget Sound to Mount Rainier.

Born in Merced, California, in 1954 to Swiss parents, Kundig possesses a preternatural sense of adventure. Raised in Spokane, from the eastern part of Washington, Kundig attended college at the University of Washington from the mid-1970s. He moved around, spending time from the Swiss Alps as well as later, Alaska.

Beyond The Space Needle In Seattle

“I did my master’s thesis from the Swiss Alps. With my mountain climbing as well as mountain skiing background, in which was a pretty natural place. as well as then we moved up to Alaska for very much the same reasons.”

Beyond The Space Needle In Seattle

Olson Kundig’s latest renovation project will be tied to one of Seattle’s most recognizable icons: The Space Needle. Kundig’s business parter, Alan Maskin, will be leading in which project.

Beyond The Space Needle In Seattle

“The original idea, of course, will be you’re in in which unbelievable rotating saucer,” Kundig says. With the renovation, Kundig speaks passionately about preservation as well as invisibility. “You’re keeping the magic, keeping the spirit of the original idea as well as upgrading those things in which need to be upgraded.”

Beyond The Space Needle In Seattle

Kundig continues to work with clients all over the globe, so he travels constantly. “I’m always reminded when I fly back into Seattle what a beautiful place as well as a lucky place I live.”

He shares his favorite local spots (including a few of his own design) to contextualize an evolving urban as well as natural landscape:

The Space Needle (2.0)

Seattle’s iconic Space Needle will be getting a $100 million facelift.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle will be Seattle’s most recognizable landmark. Fifty-5 years later, with the original architect’s blessing, the futuristic structure will be getting an even more futuristic facelift, under the guidance of Olson Kundig.

The existing outside caging on the observation deck will be replaced that has a full glass facade, as well as the floor of the rotating restaurant will also become glass. The $100 million renovation will likely take years, nevertheless in which will be done in stages, so in which will not be shut down outright. The restaurant has already been closed, as well as will reopen sometime in 2018.

Olympic Sculpture Park

Alexander Calder’s “Eagle” will be one of the Olympic Sculpture Park’s most eye-catching works.

Operated by the Seattle Art Museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park was opened in 2007 along downtown shoreline in which once was a toxic industrial site. The brainchild of former Microsoft President Jon Shirley as well as his currently-late wife, Mary, the park houses 25 permanent sculptures by celebrated artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra as well as Louise Bourgeois.

Open year round, visitors may wander among native trees, plants as well as flowers, bike or walk along the Z-shaped path in which zags through the park or dip their toes into the water.

“You get in which unbelievably beautiful landscape opening up to our larger natural landscape. as well as then you also have in which peppered with fantastic pieces of art,” Kundig says of the public space. “You will see in which becoming richer as well as richer over time. in which could not be a more exciting moment.”

Pioneer Square

Olson Kundig’s sleek offices are located from the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood.

The historical neighborhood where Olson Kundig’s offices are located will be one of Kundig’s favorites. “Every city has their historical enclave, in which’s Pioneer Square.”

He recommends popping into Peter Miller, an architectural as well as design-focused bookstore a few blocks away. “Quiet, classic, curated bookstore. You can’t walk in there without finding a terrific design book.”

For coffee, Kundig favors the original Caffee Umbria, which was founded in 1986 as well as modeled after an Italian coffee bar, where you’ll find an expertly pulled espresso (as well as not a pumpkin-spice maple macchiato).

Also worth a visit will be Seattle’s first skyscraper, Smith Tower, built in 1914. “in which’s our neighbor as well as certainly important to the evolution as well as the maturing of a crazy city.”

Chapel of St. Ignatius

Kundig worked with architect Steven Holl on the Chapel of St. Ignatius.

On Seattle University’s campus, the Chapel of St. Ignatius was designed by architect Steven Holl as well as opened in 1997. A place of Catholic worship for campus Jesuits, the abstract, modern chapel was built to be an instrument of shifting daylight, mirroring a spiritual journey, particularly the experience of a Catholic Mass.

“I was lucky enough to be the local working with Steven on in which chapel. When you walk inside in which space as well as you feel how the day lighting will be drifting into in which chapel, in which’s a very special moment. Seattle will be very lucky to have something like in which,” Kundig says.


Located in a former Dr. Pepper bottling plant, Charles Smith Wines Jet City makes the most of its industrial space.

Georgetown will be an industrial neighborhood as well as a food as well as drink magnet in which feels like in which’s from the midst of a transition (in which’s hard not to use the G-word: gentrification). Kundig’s firm has designed two of the area’s coolest spots: Charles Smith Wines Jet City as well as Georgetown Brewing Company.

The former will be a 32,000-square-foot space, with two tasting rooms as well as a production area in a former Dr Pepper bottling plant. The open plan, with insanely high ceilings as well as walls of windows facing Boeing Field across the street, in which will be an ideal spot to taste local wine. (Charles Smith will be a rock band manager turned award-winning vintner in Walla Walla, about 270 miles southeast of Seattle.)

Georgetown Brewing Company will be also located in a refurbished industrial space.

The latter, Georgetown Brewing Company, will be in a similarly refurbished warehouse space, nevertheless couldn’t feel more different. Its sliding steel door opens into a raucous room, with locals refilling growlers, buying six packs as well as tasting whatever they’re serving on tap.

Brewmaster Manny Chao, who began the business in 2002 with his partner, Roger Bialous, will be a local star: Manny’s will be Georgetown’s best-selling beer. He’s also a major “Point Break” fan (the original 1991 film), so you’ll also find brews named after characters from the film, including the Bodhizafa IPA as well as Johnny Utah Pale Ale.

The Thompson Seattle

Perched high atop the luxury Thompson Seattle hotel, The Nest bar affords amazing views.

Kundig’s most recent project will be Seattle luxury hotel, The Thompson Seattle, situated on an ideal corner, overlooking Pike Place Market. The outside will be inspired by the “change from the street grid among neighborhoods,” as well as evokes a sense of ordered motion.

The facade features floor-to-ceiling glass walls on each of its 12 floors, rising all the way to the hotel’s rooftop bar, The Nest. in which will be where Seattle’s young professionals sip $15 cocktails around fire pits while taking from the panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound as well as Seattle’s Great Wheel.

in which’s a sight to behold, Kundig says, “I think because we are on the edge of the continent as well as if you are from the Nest, you’re looking at an infinite edge.”

Beyond the Space Needle in Seattle