March 10th, 2018 — Seattle, WA, USA
The Amazon Spheres are three spherical conservatories on the headquarters campus of Amazon in Seattle, Washington, US. Designed by NBBJ, the three glass domes are covered in pentagonal hexecontahedron panels and serve as an employee lounge and workspace. The domes, which range from three to four stories tall, house 40,000 plants as well as meeting space and retail stores. They are located under the Day 1 building on Lenora Street. The complex opened to Amazon employees and limited public access on January 30, 2018. The spheres are reserved mainly for Amazon employees, but are open to the public through weekly headquarters tours and an exhibit on the ground floor.
The plants inside were laid out and designed by Seattle landscape architects, Site Workshop. The spheres have 40,000 plants from 50 countries and are divided into three areas, with the western and eastern domes segregated into the Old World and New World.The domes are kept at a temperature of 72 °F (22 °C) and 60 percent humidity during the daytime. Amazon employed a full-time horticulturalist to grow the building's 40,000 plants over a three-year period at a greenhouse in Redmond. Amazon donated space in the greenhouse to the University of Washington's botany program during renovation of their Life Sciences Building in 2016. Among the 40 to 50 trees in the spheres, the largest is a 55-foot (17 m) Ficus rubiginosa tree, nicknamed "Rubi", which was lifted into the spheres by a crane in June 2017.
Photograph by Stuart Isett. ©2018 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.