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Amazon to build giant, swirling 'Helix' at its HQ2 in Virginia

The retail giant says it's committed to bringing employees together at its new headquarters.

Amazon says the Helix will be open to the public on select weekends every month.

Amazon on Tuesday said it submitted its proposed development plans for the next phase of construction at its new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. In addition to more traditional office buildings and retail spaces, the company's plans include a unique, double helix-inspired building that will "feature two walkable paths of landscaped terrain that will spiral up the outside of the building," Amazon said in a blog post. 

The Helix was designed by NBBJ, the same architecture firm that designed the "Spheres" at Amazon's Seattle campus. It'll sit alongside three new 22-story buildings that'll provide office space for the 25,000 employees Amazon plans to accommodate at HQ2. The company said the Helix will host an artist-in-residence program and be open to the public on some weekends. 

In 2018, Amazon selected two cities for its massive HQ2 expansion project, Long Island City and Arlington. However, public response in New York quickly turned negative, and Amazon canceled its plans to build a new campus in the city. 

The Arlington site is known as PenPlace and sits just outside of Washington DC. It'll include shops and restaurants, as well as more than 2.5 acres of public use space that'll feature an amphitheater, dog park and forest grove, Amazon said. 

The proposed development plans must be reviewed by Arlington County before construction can begin. If approved, the project is reportedly projected to be finished in 2025


Amazon says PenPlace will include more than 2.5 acres of public open space.