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Watch an 18-foot hemlock tree get planted on top of a skyscraper

The tree is part of the Kinects apartment tower’s rooftop terrace

The top of a steel building features a landscaped terrace.
A rendering of the Kinects rooftop
Bumgardner Architects

Residential towers are full of outdoor amenities to help people in dense towers feel like they have access to a slice of the outdoors. Elaborate rooftop decks have become part of the norm, with or without a yoga designation. Green walls are common in residential and commercial projects alike.

Kinects, a residential tower opening this summer in the Denny Triangle, is making a play for Seattle’s outdoorsy demographic in an unprecedented way: a rooftop terrace designed to “feel like a mountaintop,” or as the developers at Security Properties pitched it to Puget Sound Business Journal, a “Northwest relaxation terrace.”

The balcony and yoga deck, designed by Scott Woodcock of Windrose, is supposed to take advantage of the tower’s dizzying height for the mountaintop effect, with no prominently visible railings.

The pièce de résistance? A full-grown, 18-foot hemlock tree. And not some facsimile, city-coddled tree grown in a nursery. This is a rugged mountain tree that initially put roots down in the Cascades, only to be uprooted and hoisted to the 41st floor of an apartment building.

PSBJ’s Anthony Bolante sent a time-lapse camera up the tower with the tree, which has been planted on the south side of the tower. Watch its journey below.

If doing yoga on a simulation of a mountaintop doesn’t seem relaxing to you, don’t worry: There’s a pool in the glass box behind the tree.