Amazon unveils 'nature-infused' design for new headquarters

A double-helix building will be the centerpiece of the second phase of Amazon's HQ2 headquarters site being developed in Arlingt
A double-helix building will be the centerpiece of the second phase of Amazon's HQ2 headquarters site being developed in Arlington, Virginia, just outside the US capital of Washington

Amazon on Tuesday unveiled what it called a "nature-infused" design for the second phase of its second headquarters, being developed just outside Washington.

The centerpiece of the new Arlington, Virginia, development to be called "PenPlace" will be a double-helix surrounded by landscaped gardens with plants native to the region.

The design unveiled is the latest part of Amazon's $2.5 billion "HQ2" which will become a second headquarters for the technology and e-commerce giant based in Seattle, Washington.

"The Helix at our Arlington headquarters will offer a variety of alternative work environments for Amazon employees amidst lush gardens and flourishing trees native to the region," the company's global real estate and facilities vice president John Schoettler said in a statement.

"A true double helix in shape and structure, this unique building will feature two walkable paths of landscaped terrain that will spiral up the outside of the building, featuring plantings you may find on a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia."

Amazon said it would include an artist-in-residence program to be hosted within the Helix that would allow local artists to showcase their work.

Amazon chose the site in 2017 after an extensive search that drew criticism for sparking a bidding war of tax incentives from municipalities across the country. An additional site in New York was also selected but later abandoned amid a political feud over the plan.

HQ2, the first phase of which is already under construction, is expected to bring some 25,000 jobs to the region over the next decade.

The second phase designed by architecture firm NBBJ aimed to "infuse nature into the and create a unique, sustainable environment where our employees can work and invent for our customers," Schoettler said.

"Our designs create open and active spaces that aim to bring people closer to nature in an effort to further nurture innovation and creativity."

The plan calls for 260,000 square meters (2.8 million square feet) of new office space across three 22-story buildings.

"The design promotes well-being and physical exercise," Schoettler said.

"We hope that the blend of architectural and ecological elements at PenPlace.. will inspire those who work here and serve as an inviting place for neighbors to gather, relax, dine, and shop."

He added that the design aims to inspire people in a way similar to the Spheres at Amazon's Seattle headquarters.

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