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Amazon proposes 'biospheres' for Seattle campus

Amazon.com's radical overhaul of the South Lake Union and Belltown areas is taking another unique twist, as the company has unveiled plans for a huge new biosphere on its new Seattle campus. (Image courtesy Seattle DPD)
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Amazon.com's radical overhaul of the South Lake Union and Belltown areas is taking another unique twist, as the company has unveiled plans for huge new biospheres on its new Seattle campus.

The company's latest designs unveiled this week show three massive spheres big enough for mature trees and other plant life.

"The generative idea is that a plant-rich environment has many positive qualities that are not often found in a typical office setting," according to design documents obtained by Geekwire.

"While the form of the building will be visually reminiscent of a greenhouse or conservatory, plant material will be selected for its ability to co-exist in a microclimate that also suits people," the documents continue. "To encourage growth and maintain the health of the plants, the building's interior will include high bay spaces on five floors totaling approximately 65,000 SF and capable of accommodating mature trees."

The new proposal will be formally introduced and discussed at a Design Review Board meeting Tuesday night at Seattle City Hall.

Architects at NBBJ compare it to similar glass biosphere projects in Arizona, Montreal, Genoa, Italy, and the Royal Greenhouses in Belgium.

Amazon's proposed campus calls for three 37-story office towers spanning over three blocks. The project is expected to take more than six years to complete.

About the Author


Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.

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