Out of the Box

Current Biosphere Construction. Photo by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times

The three, new glass biospheres, which are part of Amazon’s new campus covering three blocks in the South Lake Union area, continue taking shape. Their 36-story adjoining square tower opened for business on November 7th, 2016, with the announcement “Hello World” in the window. This is the 2nd new building site move-in for Amazon in recent months.

Biospheres under construction, April 2016. Photo by Kevin Lisota/GeekWire.

The round, 5-story spheres are located at Lenora Street and 6th Avenue on the north end of downtown Seattle, and are designed to promote out-of-the-box thinking for 800 employees while serving as a nature conservatory. The idea is to promote creative thought in a relaxed, inviting work environment and provide a memorable iconic structure for the downtown core. They will include waterfalls, extension bridges, a river, and thousands of plants (U.S. and international), so employees and guests can connect with nature while at work. Retail spaces will also be opened within the spheres as well. Employees will have a cafeteria available on-site or always have the option of eating their lunch amid the climate-controlled gardens (set at a pleasant, not humid, temperature for humans during the day).

Photo by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times

According to The Seattle Times, the Amazon company has hired a seasoned, full-time horticulturist, Ron Gagliardo, formerly of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, to manage these spaces. Principal architect at NBBJ, Dale Alberda, initially proposed a round, rather than square structure, which the committee responded well to. So now this out-of-the box structure is becoming a reality, and will fully open in late 2017 or early 2018.

The Changing Space of Facebook

courtesy-vulcan-real-estate

Facebook will be expanding its Seattle presence again. According to The Seattle Times, this sub-section of the company, with headquarters based in Menlo Park, California, recently moved into a new office building seven months ago at 1101 Dexter Avenue to house their employees. This newest pre-lease through Vulcan Real Estate will further expand the social network giant’s presence in the South Lake Union area.

 

The new project, called Arbor Blocks, will begin construction in a few weeks on 8th Avenue North, between Harrison and Thomas streets. Two six-story buildings (333 8th Ave. N. and 300 8th Ave. N.) will be built on opposite sides of the street, and will include a woonerf, which is a curbless street that’s friendly to pedestrians. The woonerf will include amenities for green living, such as bike racks, seating, and plants to filter air, as well as featuring public art. Offices will encompass 384,000 square feet of these buildings, with an additional 4,100 square feet for retail on the street level.

 

The Seattle office at 1101 Dexter Avenue is Facebook’s software engineering focus, and is a custom-built space. It can fit up to 2,000 people, although 1,000 employees currently occupy four floors of the building. This newest building will also have custom features, and will be designed by Graphite Design Group, per Curbed Seattle.

 

With all that space being created, it seems logical that an even larger influx of new Facebook employees is on its way.