Amazon unveils plans for cluster of skyscraper office towers in Seattle
The e-commerce giant Amazon.com seems poised for a major expansion. In a move to house its growing workforce, plans for a trio of skyscraper office blocks have come to light.
Amazon HQ is expected to comprise of three blocks of 37-storey towers, adding up to a total of 3.3 million square feet. Located in Denny Triangle, Downtown Seattle, it will double the company's current office space. The buildings sit at an angle, all facing each other, with a central plaza area located alongside an auditorium, public open spaces and a street-level retail area.
At present the land holds a number of parking lots however the Sixth Avenue Inn Hotel, the King Cat Theatre and the Toyota of Seattle dealership would all have to be demolished.
International architectural firm NBBJ first proposed four possible designs. At the end of March, project architects John Savo and Dale Alberda presented plans to Seattle's review board and it was detailed that the blocks will be developed in phases over a period of up to eight years.
The preferred option has two of the towers perpendicular to Sixth Avenue, and the third one perpendicular to Westlake Avenue. This layout gives neighbours more sight lines and allows for a sun pocket at the centre of the site. Smaller ‘incubator' blocks are to surround the main ones, connected to the towers with skybridges. The auditorium will be Amazon's first meeting space on such a scale, seating 2,000 people but it is yet to be decided whether it will be open for non-company events.
Public areas will still play a large role, with landscaping, water features, public art and bicycle parking being developed. Savo believes it is about building a neighbourhood, and described the project as an ‘urban room' which pedestrians can easily pass through. Of the location Amazon chose, he says: "People are not engaging in the city life. I think this is a very smart move to be downtown, with the recruiting and the retention, because they want the people to get out of the building. They want people to walk their dog, eat outside, to invite their family in to come meet them here."