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Beyond Topiary

Amazon’s Groundbreaking Workspace Cultivates Collaboration Through Nature


Collaborative work environments have begun to replace the traditional office space of four walls and a desk, and no workspace exemplifies this exciting change more than Amazon’s new Seattle headquarters, The Spheres. Amazon began designing this iconic building, a massive triple-domed structure with a clear facade, by identifying one simple element that’s missing from the modern office space—nature.

The extraordinary result of more than six years of planning, The Spheres were designed by local architecture firm NBBJ, and its unique bulbous shape resembles a traditional conservatory. This remarkably versatile indoor/outdoor space is characterized by its living green walls, every inch covered in vegetation, allowing The Spheres to be home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries. Amazon employees get the chance to connect with nature during their workday through inviting workspaces, open courtyards, and different levels of flora, mimicking the natural diversity of a rainforest’s layers and canopies. The idea of biophilia, that humans have an innate urge to connect with nature as it provokes creativity and improves brain function, greatly inspired the initial concept of The Spheres.

Blurring the lines between the interior and the exterior, The Spheres offer incredible environments outfitted with JANUS et Cie furnishings. The adventurous design of the Amari Low Back Lounge Chairs complements the rainforest aesthetic in an expansive courtyard that rests under The Spheres’ signature webbed glass walls and ceiling, while the Nishiki Lounge Chairs provide a comforting respite in a canopy or nest. Sketch Armchairs mirror The Spheres’ whimsy, and Forest Side Chairs, with their unique die-cuts and curves, are right at home in Amazon’s own forest.

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