While Facebook has Glassdoor, Apple has Apple Park, and Google has its charismatic Google campus, Amazon may have topped them all with one of the more unusual and extraordinary workspaces simply called “The Spheres.” I had a chance to visit the Amazon spheres recently. The facility is too beautiful and inspiring to not write about; they are a distinctive, eye-catching, and instantly an iconic fixture in Seattle. The Spheres are the result of innovative thinking about traditional working space and the typical missing factor: nature. After more than six years of planning, planting, and two and one-half years of construction, Amazon brought a beautiful inside out forest to downtown Seattle that serves as an employee lounge and workspace. From the outside, the facility is three-glass domes architecture, which are covered in pentagonal hexecontahedron panels. Inside is the home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries. The central piece of the inside of the Spheres is the green walls that stretch up 65 feet in middle of 90-foot-tall dome. There are 3 levels that are accessible to the public. Each level provides different kinds of seating. The level of attention into details of this project is incredible. Every single detail is beautiful and high quality to enhance work productivity and creativity for their employees.
From the real estate point of view, there is much speculation that Amazon is planning to back out of Seattle at some point in the near future, which without a doubt would weaken Seattle economy. If you believe that speculation at all, I urge you to come take a look at the Spheres. Seeing the level of Amazon’s investment in the Spheres and other real estate around downtown Seattle, I believe that it will ease your concern quite a bit. Amazon’s massive footprint in Seattle would be not only expensive to unwind, but also time consuming because of what they have built and leased within the city. That doesn’t include the fact that as of June 2018, the company posted more than 1,200 new opening jobs in Seattle, clearly indicating that a move from the city is not going to happen anytime soon.
Amazon has changed their initial plan and made it available for public visit every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. Admission is free, but reservation is required, about 1 month in advance. I checked their calendar often; around the 3rd week of the month, the Spheres’ calendar for the following month availability is posted. Register for at least 2 sections, in case you can’t make it one of them, you don’t have to wait for another 30 days until the next availability. Just remember to kindly cancel the booking that you can’t show up to. Also, there isn’t time limit for each visit, once you check in and have the bracelet, you are allowed to leave the building and come back anytime on that same day until 5pm. Don’t forget to check out Amazon Go store next door. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
The Spheres Address: 2111 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121