The latest addition to Amazon’s Seattle campus has just opened, the three glass biosphere domes transforming the cityscape with their gleaming, orb-like exteriors. Inside, employees and guests will find a veritable rainforest.
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The Spheres have no enclosed offices, conference spaces, or desks. Instead, employees can hold meetings in tree houses suspended under 40-foot trees, or in sitting areas and walking paths alongside cascading waterfalls. The multi-story, glass-enclosed structures are also home to more than 40,000 plants from around the world—a botanical immersion that transports visitors far away from downtown Seattle's urban landscape.
The project created more than 600 full-time jobs and is part of Amazon’s more than $4 billion investment in the design, development, and construction of its Seattle headquarters. The design is a result of innovative thinking about the nature of the workplace: studies have suggested that spaces that embrace biophilic design can inspire creativity and even improve brain function.
"Our goal with the Spheres was to create a unique gathering place where employees could collaborate and innovate together, and where the Seattle community could gather to experience biodiversity in the center of the city," said John Schoettler, Amazon vice president of global real estate and facilities.
The Understory is a 360-degree immersive and interactive exhibit at the base of The Spheres and open to the public by appointment only. All appointments are free and can be booked here.