Tech giant Amazon.com is currently building an interconnected trio of botanical conservatories as part of its sprawling urban campus in downtown Seattle.
Amazon hopes that the so-called “Spheres” will help connect employees to something often missing from urban office spaces — nature — and “serve as a haven of carefully tended nature geared to letting Amazonians break free from their cubicles and think disruptive thoughts,” according to a Seattle Times report.
When construction is completed later this year, the 70,000-square-foot structure will house waterfalls, a river and climate-controlled tropical gardens. Amazon plans to encourage staffers to bring lunch there, or have walking meetings while taking in the view from bird’s-nest level above the tree canopy.
To oversee the plant collection, Amazon has hired a full-time horticulturist, Ron Gagliardo, a veteran of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He and his team are currently nurturing about 3,000 plant species that have been shared by botanical gardens or acquired through adventurous expeditions to 30 countries around the world.
In addition to public areas surrounding the project, the Spheres will have retail space offering the public some level of interaction with the structure. Amazon is also reportedly pondering other ways to bring visitors in, such as school field trips and partnerships with the University of Washington.