Amazon’s vision was to build much more than an office complex for its new headquarters in downtown Seattle. Instead, Amazon wanted to create a neighborhood that would enhance the lives of its workers and the wider public, reflecting the company’s community-focused culture.
Starting in 2012, this ambitious project initially was envisioned to incorporate three 37-story office towers, two mid-rise office towers and a multi-purpose meeting center with seating for 2,000 people. Two additional office towers have recently been added to the complex and are currently in design.
The centrepiece of the neighbourhood is unique – three interconnected glass biodomes, housing thousands of plants and trees from around the world. Designed to refresh and inspire Amazon workers, The Spheres represent a total departure from the standard urban workplace.
WSP’s role in creating Amazon’s pioneering work hub has included mechanical, plumbing, lighting and high performance sustainable design services. For example, our engineers devised an innovative heating solution for The Spheres that would meet Seattle’s stringent energy code requirements. This involved piping waste heat from a nearby, third-party owned, data-center directly to the neighborhood’s central utility plant that was designed by WSP to serve the entire development.