Everything You Need to Know About Amazon's New HQ

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1. Amazon isn’t interested in plain office buildings.

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2. It will have its very own botanical garden.

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3. Recycling isn't just something employees will do.

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4. Amazon is making its presence felt in Seattle.

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5. That’s one big boardroom.

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

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

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8. Foodies are flocking to Amazon's new neighborhood.

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9. It was designed with help from an algorithm.

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10. There will be games.

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11. The building ties in to the community.

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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 spheres 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 spheres 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 spheres will use “recycled energy” from its neighboring buildings to generate heat and also will recycle 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. 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?

 
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.
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. 

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’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.”

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