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Everything You Need to Know About Amazon's New HQ

Would you like to work in a tree house?


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?” For Amazon employees, this is just a part of life on the company's new campus. 

In addition to three giant office towers -- one of which is already completed -- there are also three Spheres with plants and waterfalls, for when Amazon workers want to take a break from their desks. Officially open as of January 2018, you can get a glimpse at them now thanks to an official Instagram account. Or, you can take a look in person if you happen to be in town on the two days each month that they are open to the public.

Take a look inside Amazon’s outdoorsy new space.

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


Amazon isn’t interested in plain office buildings.

The new headquarters is made up of a 500-foot-tall skyscraper and a trio of spheres which are each 100 feet high.

It has its very own botanical garden.

The Spheres are home to to 400 species of more than 40,000 plants from more than 30 countries -- including a 6 foot tall corpse flower. In addition to employees being able to take advantage of working next to a river and man-made waterfalls, they can take meetings in treehouse-style conference rooms. The space is also open to the public, via guided tour and appointment. 


Recycling isn't just something employees will do.

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

Amazon is making its presence felt in Seattle.

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.


That’s one big boardroom.

The campus will have a meeting center that can fit 2,000 people. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos famously prefers to keep teams small and nimble, only big enough that it would take two pizzas to feed them while they are developing big ideas for the company. How many pizzas will be needed to feed that crowd?


Amazon is doubling down on its brick-and-mortar vision.

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

All the more reason to bring your dog to the office.

According to blueprints for the new campus, there is a sports field, outdoor canopies, bike paths, fountains, light displays and art installations for employees to enjoy. For those Amazon workers with canine pals -- and there are a lot of them, with 4,000 registered dogs and an average of 500 who regularly come to the office -- there are two dog parks: a 1,000-square foot one located near the spheres that is open to the public, and one on the roof of Doppler, the first completed office tower. 

Foodies are flocking to Amazon's new neighborhood.

On the lower floors of 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. But the unique dining options also extend beyond the HQ, with well-regarded eateries opening in the new neighborhood that provide options ranging from Korean-Hawaiin tacos, Middle Eastern street food and old-fashioned diner fare. 


It was designed with help from an algorithm.

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.”


There will be games.

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

The building ties in to the community.

In a recent announcement, Amazon shared that one of it's permanent neighbors will be a homeless shelter called Mary’s Place. In 2016, Amazon partnered with the Seattle nonprofit when it housed 200 people in one of the empty buildings on its current headquarters. Half of one of the new office towers will be the shelter's new home. It is set to open its doors in 2020. It will be 47,000 square feet and house 220 people.