is planning a biosphere-like building for their new Seattle headquarters. 


“Design lifts the spirit, unleashes human potential and transforms our world.” – NBBJ Architects

Workplaces are changing for the better. Utilising new technologies and often high-tech solutions, private offices are increasingly giving way to open, collaborative spaces. Cold, strictly professional office buildings are turning into well-designed spaces that aim to create healthier, happier and more productive employees.

The online retailer recently proposed an impressive spherical greenhouse-inspired design for its new Seattle office buildings on its downtown campus. The design includes three steel and glass spheres almost 30 metres high, which will serve as the centrepiece for three new skyscrapers that will house a rapidly growing workforce in downtown Seattle. The building will be capable of acting as a greenhouse for multiple forms of plant life and mature trees.

The latest drawings and plans for the “biosphere” revealed that the aim is to create a plant-rich environment, and it will include high bay spaces on five floors of the building’s interior, totalling approximately 6 038m². The plan includes 6 000m² of office space and high bay spaces on five floors capable of accommodating mature trees.

The exterior will be multiple layers of glass supported by a metal framework. The double-glazed glass will fill both an aesthetic role and a functional one, as it will be able to provide protection against heat gain on the interior.

The project, which was inspired by the name and what it embodies, is set to take six years to complete. The domes will include “botanical zones” of plant species, as well as dining facilities, meeting areas and lounges. The greenhouse office spheres will stand adjacent to the three main skyscrapers that make up the Amazon headquarters in downtown Seattle. The company invested $1,6 billion (R15,5 billion) into the area last fall to expand their campus. According to NBBJ Architects, the building will mirror “botanical zones modelled on ecologies found around the globe”.

Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board approved the proposal in a voting session after conducting five comprehensive meetings over six months.


Facts and figures

Development size: Approximately 1,3-million square metres
Number of levels: Five
Underground parking space: 3 300 cars


The selling point for these new headquarters is that it will stand out as an oasis in the middle of the bustling city, while still being a homage to modern, minimalistic design and an embodiment of the “form follows function” principle. 

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to and for the information given to write this article.