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Seattle’s Space Needle is an American icon, but few know the story of its creation. Working with the Needle’s historian, the Seattle-based exhibition design firm Storyline Studio pored over thousands of archival images to understand the genius of its design and the daring of its builders. The historic images were a critical factor driving design, as was the challenge of the space: a day-lit ramp that curves and rises on its route to the Needle’s elevators.

How to ensure that circulation is not impeded, yet grab visitors’ attention? The solution: a series of curved illuminated panels that feel like part of the building’s architecture. To convey a sense of the time during which the Needle was built—space race optimism and cold war tension—Storyline drew upon the Needle’s own brand identity. Along with the compelling historic images, Storyline also added playful 1960s-themed interactives and 3-D printed models showing stages of the ingenious construction as “treats” that visitors can slowly savor on their way to the top of the Needle.

storylinestudio.com

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