Washington, United States:
On Tuesday, Amazon unveiled a so-called “naturally soaked” design for the second phase of its second headquarters, which is being developed outside of Washington.
The centerpiece of the new development in Arlington, Virginia, called “PenPlace”, will be a double-helix building surrounded by landscaped gardens of native plants.
The featured design is the latest in Amazon’s $ 2.5 billion “HQ2,” which will be a second headquarters for the Seattle, Washington-based technology and e-commerce giant.
“The Helix in our Arlington headquarters offers Amazon employees a variety of alternative work environments amid lush gardens and flowering trees in the area,” said John Schoettler, vice president of real estate and facilities for the company, in a statement.
“A true double helix in shape and structure, this unique building has two landscaped walkways that wind outside the building and contain planting that you can find on a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.”
Amazon said it would include an artist-in-residence program hosted within the Helix that would allow local artists to showcase their work.
Amazon selected the site in 2017 after a comprehensive search that generated criticism of the triggering of a bidding war of tax incentives by municipalities across the country. An additional location in New York was also selected, but was later abandoned amid a political feud over the plan.
HQ2, the first phase of which is already under construction, is expected to create around 25,000 jobs in the region over the next ten years.
The second phase of the NBBJ architecture firm aimed to “bring nature into the urban landscape and create a unique, sustainable environment in which our employees can work and invent for our customers,” said Schötler.
“Our designs create open and active spaces that aim to bring people closer to nature in order to further promote innovation and creativity.”
The plan provides for 260,000 square meters of new office space in three 22-story buildings.
“The design promotes well-being and physical activity,” said Schötler.
“We hope that the mix of architectural and environmental elements at PenPlace … inspires those who work here and serves as a welcoming place for neighbors to gather, relax, dine and shop.”
He added that the design aims to inspire people in a similar way to the Spheres at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.