Six Surprising Facts about Seattle Convention Center’s New Summit Building

A Sponsored Message from Visit Seattle

Author: Jessica Poitevien       

rendering of building with lower glass facade, center metal facade, and upper glass facade

Combining uniquely Seattle design elements with ample event space, the new Summit building is transforming Seattle’s convention package.

In January 2023, Seattle expanded its offerings for business events with the opening of Summit, the first vertical convention center building in North America. Beyond complementing Seattle’s already iconic cityscape, Summit adds more than 570,000 square feet of event space to the city’s convention package. Combined with the existing Arch building — with 205,700 square feet of exhibit space, a full-size center in its own right — Summit doubles the Seattle Convention Center’s (SCC) capacity. But there’s more to Summit than ballrooms and boardrooms — here are six interesting facts about the SCC’s brand-new building:

Summit was built with repurposed materials. Showcasing Seattle’s commitment to sustainability, the construction of Summit included using reclaimed wood from the car dealership that once occupied part of the site. That wood can now be found in the building’s drink rails and large columns in the lobby. The center also includes 3,900 wormwood boards salvaged from log booms that now hang suspended from the ballroom’s 65-foot-tall ceiling.

Tackling food waste is a big priority. At Summit, the kitchen and scullery include two waste dehydrators that use high heat recirculation to dehydrate food waste. These machines reduce its volume and weight by up to 90 percent, which minimizes waste disposal’s impact on the environment.

It symbolizes SCC’s commitment to diversity. When construction began in 2018, the Summit team set the goal of awarding $80 million in contracts to women- and minority-owned local businesses. By the project’s completion, they had committed $150 million to such companies — almost double their goal.

escalators to left and stairs to right going from ground floor to upper floors in glass encased lobby

Attendees can easily take in the beauty of the Emerald City from thoughtfully designed viewpoints at Summit, the Seattle Convention Center’s newest addition.

The building’s design elements honor Seattle icons. Large numeral indicators on each floor aren’t just smart wayfinding features, they also visually honor the region’s various industries and cultures. For example, on the second floor, the numeral 2 incorporates actual ropes, representing the maritime industry. On the fourth floor, cassette tapes from local artists like Nirvana, Brandi Carlile, and Sir Mix-a-Lot make up the numeral 4 (pictured above).

Expect to find innovative design solutions throughout. Summit features one of the nation’s largest window shade systems, which was made by a local, woman-owned company. Seattle-based Lumenomics designed and provided the main ballroom’s 12 window shades, each one measuring 63 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

Summit is a showcase of local art. The SCC’s robust public art program is on display at Summit, highlighting a range of local artists who have contributed to Seattle’s unique culture. Several featured artworks were crafted by Indigenous artists and encourage visitors to engage with the history of the land that the building occupies. These artworks expand upon similar art-focused programming at SCC’s Arch building.

With so many unique elements to discover in the Summit building alone, all that’s left to do is plan your next event in Seattle. Head to for more details.

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