Today was a day seven years in the making.
In 2011, our Vice President of Global Real Estate and Facilities, John Schoettler, spent Halloween exploring the Denny Triangle neighborhood. At that time, it looked quite different. Outdated motels and surface parking lots dotted the space, a space that needed to be refreshed. What better way to refresh the area than to create an iconic space? And so, the initial concept of The Spheres was born.
By 2013, the unique architecture of The Spheres took shape. This particular design was chosen due to its natural occurrence in nature and as a nod to historic conservatories, like Kew Gardens.
After years of diligent work by a team of more-than 600 creative and detail-driven people, we are proud to host The Spheres Grand Opening today. We are excited to welcome public officials including Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Amazon employees, and our many project partners in real estate, construction, and architecture, who worked on The Spheres. Our founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, officially opened The Spheres with the help of Alexa, by saying, “Alexa, open The Spheres.”
Click and drag within the 360 photo below to explore
The Spheres are filled with more than 40,000 individual plants; there are more than 300 plant species from more than 50 countries and almost every continent, each with an interesting story to tell. They all provide something that is missing from a typical office space, a direct link to nature. Treehouse meeting rooms, river and waterfall features, palladiums, a four-story living wall, and epiphytic trees are just some of the unique features within this one-of-a-kind space.
“Our goal with The Spheres was to create a unique gathering place where employees could collaborate and innovate together, and where the Seattle community could gather to experience biodiversity in the center of the city,” said Schoettler. “I am very proud and thankful for the entire team who made The Spheres a reality – they did a terrific job from the design all the way to the finishing touches. We are thrilled to officially open the doors.”
"The Spheres are sure to become an iconic part of downtown Seattle, and I applaud Amazon for its latest innovation," Governor Jay Inslee said. "These unique buildings are so much more than a beautiful, creative space for Amazon employees. They will help conserve a number of rare plant species from around the world and provide countless educational opportunities for local students – and that's something Washington can take pride in."
Starting Tuesday, Amazon employees can visit The Spheres. Additionally, members of the public can reserve a spot at The Spheres Discovery at Understory, an immersive, 360-degree exhibit at the base of The Spheres.
Studies suggest that spaces that embrace biophilic design can inspire creativity and even improve brain function. We are excited to see the refreshing results of The Spheres for years to come. As The Spheres continue to thrive, we look forward to providing educational opportunities to the Seattle community through tours, field trips, and partnerships with local schools and universities.