There are few companies in the world with the financial reach of Amazon.com. One very public testament to this is The Spheres, which just opened in downtown Seattle. The centerpiece of their $4 Billion dollar downtown campus, these huge glass spheres contain a miniature rainforest, complete with a tropical atmosphere created by the more than 40,000 plants within them. Over five years in the making, these complex systems bring a very futuristic and fanciful addition to Amazon’s collection of downtown towers.
Besides creating a park-like setting where workers can recharge, the spheres will serve as a recruiting tool, says John Schoettler, who runs Amazon’s global real estate division and oversaw the project. Candidates interviewed in the spheres will leave with the impression that Amazon remains a forward-thinking company, he says.
“From the moment we started construction, people would stand on the street corners taking photographs,” Schoettler said. “This structure is about thinking big and thinking long term.”
Love them or hate them, Amazon is proving that they have a sense of creativity and a spirit of exploration with the addition of these glass spheres. And they can now add the term “Amazon rainforest” to their names. Read more about the project on Bloomberg:
The Spheres have a small public visitor center, but are mainly meant for employee use.
The largest sphere is over 90 feet tall, and has stair bridges and walkways that explore the enormous collection of tropical plants.
The glass orbs are a spherical contrast to the tall office towers that surround them.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introducing The Spheres to the public.
Combining office spaces, lounge spaces, and a restaurant, The Spheres are a pretty incredible resource for Amazon employees.
Elevated walkways encourage exploration of the tropical rainforest atmosphere.
Living walls adorn the space.
The Spheres are complete with a huge “Alexa ring” that lights up the canopy.
Amazon’s chief horticulturist explaining the many plants inside The Spheres.
Over 40,000 plants from around the globe have been installed inside.
A view of busy Seattle streets from within The Spheres.
An elevated meeting area inside.
A lounge space at the very top of The Spheres.
A visitor perched over an observation point.
The most difficult part of the project was transporting “Rubi”, a 55-foot ficus tree, from southern California to Seattle, and lowering her into the giant sphere.