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Everything You Need to Know About Amazon's New HQ…

Staff Writer. Covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

On a beautiful spring or summer day, have you ever looked longingly out the window, buffeted by the chill of industrial strength AC and squinting against the fluorescent lights and thought, “We should have class outside?”

Well, for the denizens of Amazon’s new campus, which is currently in the works in downtown Seattle, that will be a reality that will be built into their everyday routines. At least they get free bananas while they wait.

Related: Amazon, Now Worth 2 Walmarts, Is Donating Half of Its New Building to a Homeless Shelter

In addition to three giant office towers, one of which is already completed, three biospheres with plants and waterfalls are currently in the works, there will also be a preponderance of outdoor spaces including parks and paths for biking and walking.

Take a look inside Amazon’s outdoorsy new space.

The new headquarters is made up of a 500-foot-tall skyscraper and a trio of globes that have been dubbed Biospheres, which are each 100 feet high.

The Biospheres are going to house more than 25,000 plants from all over the world, many of which are endangered. The spheres will always be set to 72 degrees. There will be treehouse-style meeting rooms as well as a river and multiple waterfalls built in.

It isn’t only the plants that make the campus environmentally sound. The biospheres will use “recycled energy” from its neighboring buildings to generate heat and also recycles energy via their water pipes.

Between the three spheres and three office towers, the company will hold a total of 10 million square feet of office space in Seattle when the new campus is finally completed. In total, the company paid more than $259 million for the land the new campus will sit on.

 

The campus will have a meeting center that can fit 2,000 people. How many pizzas will be needed to feed that crowd?

 

Plans for the new headquarters show that the company plans to include more than 18,000 square feet of retail space. Not bad for a company that started life purely online.

According to blueprints for the new campus, employees will have access to a sports field, outdoor canopies, bike paths, fountains, light displays and a dog park.

It’s fitting that Amazon, with ubiquitous recommendation algorithms, would have its new campus designed via algorithm. According to architecture firm NBBJ, “Design computation helped to generate the spheres, each a pentagonal hexecontahedron formed by tessellating a pentagon across its surface. Algorithms enabled the team to quickly generate a steel-and-glass structure that could be constructed efficiently and cost-effectively.”

 

On the lower floors of the first completed office tower, named Doppler, there is a self-serve grocery store called Market Place. Other options on various floors include grills for impromptu barbeques, sandwiches and Asian cuisine.

 

In Doppler, there is a maker space equipped with 3D printers, a game room with ping pong tables and a video game room.


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