Architectural precedents shape the way we design and engineer buildings. As human beings any time we smell, hear, touch, or taste anything, we equate it to something we are already familiar with. Precedents work the same way; you cannot have design without first having precedents. Architectural design process as well as structural design process must be thoroughly understood before a design can begin. Research on various forms of architecture are also necessary. Whether it be neo-classical, modern, Greek revival, or Italianate, these examples allow designers to create spaces properly so their functions will easily be realized. .
Las Vegas is known for its opulence. Completed in 1996 at 1149 feet tall, the Stratosphere Tower sets the precedent for being the largest observation tower in the United States, as well as the tallest freestanding structure west of the Mississippi river. It is even taller than the Eiffel Tower and more than 400 feet taller than Seattle's Space Needle. The Stratosphere was based off the design of the Seattle Space Needle, which was constructed in 1961. " Its foundation penetrates 30 feet below the surface, weighing more than the Needle itself and helping center the building's gravity five feet above ground (Leibach)." These same concepts were used during the construction of the Stratosphere Tower, which sets on a 12-foot thick concrete pad foundation. Also, like the Space Needle, the legs supporting the pod gradually incline outward to make it structurally sound. .
The initial plan was to make the tower 1828 feet high, which would have made it the tallest freestanding structure in the world, but some fundamental issues forced the designers to reduce it to 1149 feet. "Before this commenced, the design was modified. The spine now consisted of unclad lattice sections of various size and configurations, and the height was increased to 1828 ft., making it the tallest free-stand structure in the world (wind engineering).