[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”4″]T[/su_dropcap]Take A Look This Amazon’s New $2.5 Billion Headquarters: As one of the five most valuable companies in the world, consumer giant Amazon needs a plush, statement headquarters to call its own.
When Amazon unveiled plans to build its new, second headquarters in 2017, the company received no fewer than 230 offers — requests, in fact — from cities and states across America to build on its land. Each saw benefits for their sector and was looking to become the latest crowning glory of the tech firm essentially the new site.
After a flurry of proposals, Amazon had originally planned to jointly locate its newest headquarters in New York, but after local protests, including the storming of the Amazon store, eventually settled on just a less obvious location.
Arlington, Virginia, will be host to the company’s plan to build a 100% renewable-energy source hub called ‘HQ2’. The site, which Amazon is at pains to portray as a public, community space, not a company campus, will include an extravagant ‘Helix‘ building and will cost around $5 billion in total.
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]W[/su_dropcap]With initial construction already underway and the latest phases – including the Helix – scheduled for completion in 2025, the new site will be a major boost for Arlington, expected to benefit 25,000 or more new employees and a converted city is. For the location not too far from the skyline of Washington DC as well as ‘HQ2’, the location will be known as ‘Penplace’ and will replace the formerly miserable neighborhood.
The site will serve as an addition to Amazon‘s current main location in Seattle, with the new site eventually containing 2.8 million square feet of office space, with three new 22-story buildings to be added in the latest phase.
That helix focal point, jokingly called the ‘glass poop emoji’ by some commenters, is actually a really pretty looking 350-foot-tall rotating inverted cone, with lots of greenery and some great-looking outdoor walkways.
The intent of the design places great emphasis on both physical exercise and mental wellness, utilizing the concept of ‘biophilia’ – a human desire to connect with nature – similar to the company’s series of Biodome at its original headquarters.
Dale Alberda, the Lead Architect of the company NBBJ, a past designer of corporate buildings such as Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, says of the extensive space, “We are building a series of indoor atriums and gardens that are not a conservatory or space. You just go, but a place where you can actually go and work.”
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]The project is so important to NBBJ that they have opened a new office in Washington DC, just to pass. Greenery – which will be guided by a team of horticulturists – will be abundant inside and outside the helix structure, where it will engage a series of “alternative work environments” for employees to engage in meetings and social calls.
The Helix, however, is not the site of the offices themselves – these will be located in more traditional adjoining structures.
Instead, it’s a sort of escapist hub, where the work will be combined with a connection to nature and, ideally, a sense of well-being as the company says in its press release. Inside, there will be a meeting center capacity of over 1,500 people, and an artist-in-residence plan to aid the creative side of the community.
It’s notable how little Amazon has revealed about its day-to-day offices, perhaps because they aren’t as exciting compared to the Helix and the surrounding parkland.
Amazon already owns and rents several large office buildings in the area, and will inevitably expand similarly. The new structures will create a center of sorts for the company’s presence in an otherwise traditional Crystal City part of Arlington.
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]The Helix itself is expected to be open to the public for two weeks a month. The green ethos extends to the carbon footprint of the building as well. The entire campus is expected to be solar-powered, but you won’t find a solar farm doing this nearby.
Instead, it will be constructed 200 miles away in Pittsylvania County, South Virginia, with electricity to Arlington. Other green energy aspects of the project include a natural ventilation system and a system for recycling rainwater.
All new buildings are also designed to maximize the use of sunlight and therefore minimize artificial lighting requirements. The campus as a whole will be LEED Platinum accredited, the highest certification for sustainable development available from the US Green Building Council.
Many of the campus’s features are, in fact, futuristic, with Amazon making it clear that their new development is meant to be a long-term investment, and, after their New York protest experience, emphasizing the importance of maintaining support. The project develops as the community in Arlington.
They will also aid in building 1,300 affordable homes in the area through another $2 billion funds, something some eccentrics may argue the rest of the project – likely to raise the cost of local housing – otherwise vehemently goes against.
Whatever the impact at the local level, naturally the new site will be a huge boom for Amazon, and the site will bring a lot of benefits for locals who can even afford to live in the area.
The campus’ outdoor spaces are expected to be open to the public, which will come across 2.5 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens. On-site, you’ll find biking trails, bike parking, and charging points for electric cars, as well as plenty of non-Amazon businesses amidst the sculpture parkland.
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]O[/su_dropcap]Outside the Amazon offices themselves, there will also be a 250-seat outdoor concert venue perfect for screenings of movies, dog-walking parks, daycare facilities, and venues designed to accommodate food trucks.
The land would be sufficiently diverse to even include its own hiking trails, a helix of which would circle around the outside of the building. Farmers will be part of the market setup, along with other retail locations at the ground level.
In fact, the ground level of the entire system makes PenPlace feel more like an ultra-modern city block than a sprawling multinational headquarters the architects hope may not be too obvious when you walk into Amazon Headquarters 2 are on.
The project essentially rejects the idea of corporate branding, at least externally, in favor of positive community relationships.
The designers hope the site can become a tourist attraction, as well as, across the Pontiac River, just 15 minutes by metro, just 15 minutes away by metro, to make the site closer to the capital attractive to both employees and visitors. can be easily accessible.
With its natural but high-tech-looking curved helix design at the center of Amazon’s headquarters plans and what will be the new Arlington skyline, it’s probably no surprise to know where the inspiration comes from.
Alberda describes the mix of native plants and manicured gardens that will make up Helix’s meandering outdoor space as follows: “Its formal inspiration is drawn directly from the natural world, where the double helix geometry is found in many forms, including plants, seashells, DNA, etc. varieties, and even our galaxy.”
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]I[/su_dropcap]In a rapidly growing world of online work, it is also a statement of intent. Unlike some of its rivals, Amazon has recently emphasized the importance of keeping its employees physically in one place for the exchange of ideas and development work.
Penn Place is intended to be just that place. Of course, there are other benefits as well, not least in the tax breaks and incentives the city of Arlington has to offer the corporate giant as part of fighting the more than 200 other venues that are competing to host multinationals.
The tax break is believed to be around $573 million, or more than a tenth of the construction outlay, but it depends on Amazon to create 25,000 jobs in Arlington in the coming years, with a median salary of more than $150,000.
The city, we suspect, won’t be too bad when all of this is added up. New York’s planned tax break was still higher, at more than $1.5 billion.
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