Three's a charm
Three turned out to be a charm for Amazon. A Seattle design review board has approved Amazon's plan to build what promises to be a stunning, five-story office building distinguished by three intersecting spheres. Amazon also will build a 38-story tower on the same block.
Amazon's original architectural plan was introduced last spring. In this third presentation to the city, Amazon's architects allowed more public interaction with the building. That did the trick, as the board gave its unanimous approval. You can see some of the slides reproduced here; the full presentation is available here.
The height of the planned spheres ranges from 80 feet to 95 feet.
Getting the green light
Now that the board has given its approval, the plan needs to receive the formal OK from Seattle's planning and development department before a building permit gets issued, according to The Seattle Times.
Here's another look at the planned design. If anyone's keeping score, the new campus planned by Amazon archrival Apple is expected to be ready sometime in 2016. (You can read more here.)
A 'parklike setting'
The intent behind the design, according to the project proposal, is to "create an alternative environment" where "employees can work and socialize in a more natural, parklike setting."
Amazon's revised plans sought to address concerns expressed by Seattle's design-review board. Here you can see the building elevation along Lenora Street.
A giant new campus
The latest design includes a total of 18,000 square feet of retail space.
The area between the spheres and the office tower would include a walkway, a dog park, and an open field.
Entering the spheres
Amazon has revised its proposal, according to the board's recommendation, in order to allow anyone to “experience the spheres close up.”
The three intersecting spheres are intended to be eye-catching.
"The generative idea is that a plant-rich environment has many positive qualities that are not often found in a typical office setting," the proposal says. "While the form of the building will be visually reminiscent of a greenhouse or conservatory, plant material will be selected for its ability to co-exist in a microclimate that also suits people."
The designs were created by architecture firm NBBJ and also include a copious amount of green space and landscaping.