Amazon Opens Mega-Greenhouse at Seattle HQ

The Spheres, a collection of three connected glass globes sharing a single environment, encompasses 40,000 plants, as well as rainforest-like water features and trees.

The Spheres, Amazon Headquarters, Seattle
The Spheres as Amazon’s Seattle Campus

Talk about company perks. Employees at Amazon’s Seattle campus now have the option of working in The Spheres, a three-globe greenhouse at the e-commerce giant’s $4 billion urban headquarters development. Amazon’s office workers will have company when they avail themselves of this unique amenity, as The Spheres are open to the public as well.

“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,” John Schoettler, vice president of global real estate and facilities with Amazon, said in a prepared statement.

Sharing a single indoor environment enclosed in 2,643 clearer-than-clear glass panes, The Spheres are essentially a rainforest replica plunked down in the middle of a major city. The three globes—the largest of which is more than 90 feet tall, with a diameter of 130 feet—encompasses in excess of 40,000 plants plucked from five continents in a setting replete with waterfall features and sunlight, and highlighted by a four-story living wall. The bulbous building also features The Understory, a visitor center offering a fully immersive experience.  This ecofriendly destination, however, is still a workplace; the Spheres provide treehouse meeting rooms and other distinctive spaces for congregating.

To top it all off, The Spheres serve as further validation of Amazon’s reputation as one of the most sustainable companies in the world.

Growing like a weed

The opening of The Spheres at Amazon’s urban headquarters comes two weeks after the company announced that it had shortlisted 20 cities for its second headquarters, the $5 billion Amazon HQ2. The company expects to whittle down the list to one lucky winner sometime this year.

Image courtesy of Amazon