Rainier Tower is a 41-story, 156.67 m skyscraper in the Metropolitan Tract of Seattle, Washington. Construction of the building was completed in 1977. Standing “not unlike a rectangular pencil driven into the ground,” the Rainier Tower, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, provides downtown Seattle with 29 floors of office space above an 11-story concrete pedestal. The tapered concrete base provided the square’s developer (UNICO) with more square footage to construct a three-story, L-shaped retail complex as part of the overall Rainier Square complex, and it offered ground-level openness in downtown Seattle at a time when most skyscrapers occupied a much larger footprint.
Rising from an 11-story concrete pedestal, Rainier Tower is one of Seattle’s most recognizable structures
The building has 29 regular floors providing half a million square feet of high-value office space, a ground floor then the pedestal, giving a total of 31 available stories. The structure is a 5,500-ton steel frame, hung with aluminum cladding, sitting on a reinforced concrete pedestal. At the time of construction, people were very concerned with the strength and stability of the building. They wondered if the design would be resilient in an earthquake and be able to withstand high wind speeds. It was thoroughly pre-tested by engineers to make sure it would stay standing through the projected earthquakes and storms.