Amazon wins initial approval for new bubble-shaped, greenhouse offices

Cupertino officials may be in love with Apple’s dreams for its new “spaceship” campus, but city officials in Seattle are just as enamored with Amazon’s plans for a five-story office building formed out of three bubble-shaped structures known as “The Spheres.”

(Earlier this month, Mercury News columnists Scott Herhold and Troy Wolverton offered a front-page debate on the merits of Apple’s spaceship campus).

Seattle’s planning and development department on Tuesday unanimously approved Amazon’s plans for its greenhouse-like, glass-enclosed bubbles, which would complement Amazon’s plans for a 38-story tower on the same block bounded by Blanchard and Lenora streets and Sixth and Seventh avenues, according to reports in the Seattle Times and The Verge. 

Amazon still needs formal approval by Seattle’s planning and development department, which typically takes four to six weeks, according to the the Times.

The design for the domes has been tweaked to be “visually lighter” and “sculptural,” according to The Verge. The climate-controlled bubbles will reach as high as 95 feet and are intended to be filled with plants and trees.

Interestingly, Amazon’s architect –NBBJ — is also designing Google’s new headquarters.

Photo courtesy NBBJ.


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  • Makikiguy

    I remember the Levi building in San Francisco. It was suppose to be so environmentally friendly. Except when the sun was rising. the east side of the building was hotter than hell and the west side was freezing. Then in the afternoon, the west side was hotter than hell and the east side was freezing. I can’t see how the people inside will be able to avoid the glare of the sun. Maybe because it’s in Seattle??

  • SeattleGuy

    Seattle’s new motto “We sell-out to any corporation we can, what can we do for you today?”