Amazon plans bio-dome for downtown Seattle


by KING 5 News

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM

SEATTLE -- Amazon has redesigned the heart of its proposed Denny Triangle campus. At the center, instead of a low rise office building, new renderings show three orbs with exteriors made almost entirely of glass.

In a proposal to the city, the building is described as "visually reminiscent of a greenhouse or conservatory." The space will feature areas for work, dining, meeting and relaxing.

Each sphere will have open spaces large enough to accomodate mature trees and vegetation. The document explains that design is motivated by the idea that plant-rich environments have positive qualities not found in typical office settings.

The spheres will contain five floors with an exterior primarily made of layers of glass supported by a metal framework.

The designs were officially unveiled Tuesday night, and the public will still have a chance to review them.  Amazon wants to build three towers, with 3.3 million square feet of office space.


Seattle Department of Transportation Spokesman Rick Sheridan says the agency is still waiting for final plans from the Department of Planning and Development.  DPD published an environmental review last August which showed 2020 projections for several intersections near the project site rated an ‘F’, but that engineers though the Mercer and Alaskan Way projects would help ease some of the impact.

Amazon spokesperson Ty Rogers said Tuesday, “We'll continue to work with the city to try and make it as smooth as possible and a lot of our employees use alternative methods of transportation, buses, biking..."”

Café Suisse owner Leslie Conti, whose business is across the street from the proposed site, says she’s not concerned for now and thinks the added foot traffic will only help the neighborhood.  

“Perhaps they can build a footbridge to our store,” said Conti with a laugh.  “Personally, I’m very excited about it.”

Related links:

City of Seattle Design Review Program

City of Seattle - Proposed Designs (pdf)