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NBBJ Designs Amazon's Nature-Infused Second Headquarters in Virginia

NBBJ Designs Amazon's Nature-Infused Second Headquarters in Virginia

Amazon has just revealed the proposed design for its second headquarters, in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. Designed by NBBJ, the project “creates an environment that prioritizes healthy work, celebrates nature and engages the community across multiple scales.” Encompassing 2.8 million square feet of offices, public gathering areas and street-front retail, the intervention aims to create a healthier workforce and community.

Courtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJ+ 6

With its pedestrian-oriented walkways to its centerpiece building, The Helix, the new headquarters of Amazon are the company’s second project. On-going since January of last year, the structure designed by NBBJ puts in place varied nature-infused experiences through a system of interweaving green spaces. Submitted for the second phase of construction, the Arlington headquarters “infuse nature into the urban landscape and create a unique, sustainable environment”. In fact, the design generates open and active spaces that aim to bring people closer to nature in an effort to further nurture innovation and creativity.

Courtesy of NBBJ
Courtesy of NBBJ

Focusing on sustainability, the new headquarters will run on 100% renewable energy, with a LEED Platinum, the highest certification for a sustainable development issued by the U.S. Green Building Council. 2.8 million square feet of new office space distributed across three 22-story buildings. Prioritizing areas for collaboration, natural light, and constant interaction with nature, the project “promotes well-being and physical exercise, agency, and a strong connection with the local community”.


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PenPlace -the name of the site- will host an indoor-outdoor building open to the public entitled The Helix, merging “alternative workspaces with two spiraling, lush, fresh air “hill climbs” to foster creativity and wellness”. Inspired a concept of biophilia, the double helix, seen throughout our world, this intervention “offers a variety of alternative work environments for Amazon employees amidst lush gardens and flourishing trees native to the region”. Featuring two walkable paths of landscaped terrain, spiraling up the outside of the building, the structure will host an artist-in-residence program.

Courtesy of NBBJ
Courtesy of NBBJ

Creating 25,000 jobs in Arlington over the next decade, the new headquarters are also open to the locals with a 2.5-acre public park and a 200+ seat amphitheater that will be able to accommodate outdoor concerts, farmers’ markets, and movies in the park. Moreover, retail pavilions and restaurants will be conveniently located throughout the site. Last, the publicly accessible spaces throughout the site will prioritize walkways, landscaping, and retail over motor vehicles.

News via Amazon.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "NBBJ Designs Amazon's Nature-Infused Second Headquarters in Virginia" 04 Feb 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/956244/nbbj-designs-amazons-nature-infused-second-headquarters-in-virginia> ISSN 0719-8884

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