Seattle Space Needle and Mount Rainier
Space Needle

Virtual Reality Application

Since its grand opening in 1962, the Space Needle is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. This treasured Seattle icon is recognized for its 520′ saucer-shaped “top house”, which offers visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of Seattle and its surrounding landscape.

The Space Needle underwent a multi-year $100M renovation, including a glass rotating floor, to preserve the landmark and inspire the next generation of visitors.


Because the preservation and renovation project was prolonged over multiple years, the Space Needle needed to engage and excite the market about the upcoming experience, even when the first-person live experience was unavailable.

To build anticipation for its re-opening, Space Needle also needed to attract media and influencer excitement around updates like the thrilling all-glass rotating floor.

Seattle Space Needle and Mount Rainier

The Solution

Kopius was engaged to create a 4D Virtual Reality immersive experience that blends drone footage, 360-degree panoramas, beautifully detailed models, and digitally triggered physical elements into a custom-built stage.

The experience incorporated advanced VR locomotion techniques to give users the illusion of walking through large-scale spaces, and physical queues such as haptics and windpipes to give users the sensation of standing on a rotating floor or sitting in the open air.


The Space Needle met its pre-launch press and influencer goals, driving multiple articles in technology, tourism, and local publications such as GeekWire, Facility Executive Magazine, King5 News, VRFocus, and The Puget Sound Business Journal.

*Kopius performed this work under its previously known business name, Valence.


“Seeing is believing, but not really—feeling is believing,” Olson said. “And that’s why we created this.” – Karen Olson, COO of the Space Needle