the spheres will be packed with a plant collection worthy of top-notch conservatories, allowing Amazon employees to amble through tree canopies three stories off the ground, meet with colleagues in rooms with walls made from vines and eat kale Caesar salads next to an indoor creek. [...]
“The whole idea was to get people to think more creatively, maybe come up with a new idea they wouldn’t have if they were just in their office,” said Dale Alberda, the lead architect on the project at NBBJ — nytimes.com
While the benefits of greenery for employee productivity is well established, and any good tech company needs to play up the "serendipity machine" game, Amazon is taking this to an architectural level:The spheres will have meeting areas called treehouses, and suspension bridges high off the ground...
When its spheres and three surrounding towers are completed, [Amazon] will have 10 million square feet of office space in Seattle, more than 15 percent of the city's inventory, on a campus that occupies more than 10 square blocks. That will provide space for Amazon to more than double in size, to 50,000 Seattle workers in the next decade...The spheres, designed by architecture firm NBBJ, are Amazon's boldest statement yet in the first project it's building from the ground up. — Bloomberg
More on Archinect:NBBJ's biosphere design for Amazon Seattle HQ becomes even more organicNBBJ designs biospheres for Amazon's Seattle headquartersThis drone video takes you on a fascinating flight through the guts of Seattle's Bertha tunneling machine
When Amazon donated an empty South Lake Union hotel for use as a homeless shelter, it was investing in a model that Mary’s Place, the service provider, has perfected: turning vacant or transitioning buildings into temporary shelter. — Crosscut.com
According to decades of research conducted on real-life case studies, providing housing for the homeless is actually cheaper than not doing so. Thriving real estate markets also make it easier to provide permanent shelter, as noted in the article:It’s perhaps counterintuitive, but Executive...
As Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct sat free of cars overhead and drivers attempted to move around the city during the roadway’s planned 2-week closure, a new drone video Tuesday showcased again what all the fuss is about. A view inside the SR 99 tunnel won’t get much better than this until you’re actually able to drive through it. [...]
The 4-minute video captures what has been built behind nearly 1,600 feet of mining along Seattle’s waterfront. — geekwire.com
NBBJ and Visual Vocal will leverage current-generation VR and augmented reality (AR) systems, with a near-term focus on mobile VR platforms for optimal accessibility and scale. While a number of firms in the design industry have examined the promise of VR, this partnership marks the first instance of an established design firm incubating a VR startup inside its own offices and developing new tools to improve decision-making and remove waste from the design process. — 12newsnow.com
More from the VR-desk on Archinect:Virtually Inevitable – VR and AR, IRL on Archinect Sessions #51"A blueprint can give you an idea, but this cements it for you.” – VR's promising future in architectural communicationsAre virtual reality systems sexist?Using virtual reality to bridge the gap...
Sitting atop Lake Washington, the new State Route 520 is now the longest floating bridge in the world—beating its predecessor, the old State Route 520, by 130 feet [...].
This new bridge has stronger pontoons than the last one, and can withstand more buffeting from wind and waves. It also has a stormwater collection system, bus lanes in both directions, a path for bikes and pedestrians, and the capacity to someday accommodate a light rail system. — atlasobscura.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Seattle builds village for the homelessSeattle's proposed 101-story 4/C Tower considered as too tall by the FAASusan Surface, the "humble pioneer" for socially responsible design
“Shady,” “unethical,” “secretive,” “robbed of our due process” — these were just a few of the choice terms used by angry residents this past week at a packed City Council meeting about the selling of Pine Tree Park [in Kent, outside of Seattle, WA].
Longtime Seattle land-use attorney Rick Aramburu has another term for what happened: illegal. It’s also a growing trend in the swath of cities around Seattle, places that no longer receive much scrutiny from the press.
“It’s becoming a cancer" — seattletimes.com
More on recent (legal) park development:A critical look at Downtown L.A.'s ambitious plans for two new public parksTalking parks with Adrian Benepe, senior vice president of The Trust for Public LandTransforming a garbage heap into a public parkAmbitious L.A. Parks Plan Will Require Coordination...
Called Amazon Books, the store will be located at Westfield UTC mall near UC San Diego...The store will presumably resemble the Seattle location, which sells a limited selection of Amazon's best-reviewed books. That venue also doubles as a showroom for the e-commerce brand's expanding hardware lineup, which includes its Kindle, Fire TV, Fire tablets and Echo. The Echo, the company's latest gadget, is an in-home personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence. — The Los Angeles Times
Although small, independently-owned bookstores have been thriving lately, national chains—such as Borders Books, which shuttered its doors in 2011—have not adapted as well to Amazon's disruptive online model of cheap, on-demand books. Now the online retailer is reversing its...
For our 50th (!!!) episode, we discuss the biggest news items from the last week – everything from the latest BIG and DS+R shake-ups to a surprisingly controversial Seattle homeless shelter – and it's been a doozy. We take a look at:The "sphincter from which digital art issues" (according to...
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, volunteers put the finishing touches on small houses with the kind of basic amenities you don't see in Seattle homeless camps.
"The difference is you have electricity and a lock on the door," said Steve Tucker, a member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, which is hosting what organizers are calling Seattle's first tiny house village. — Kiro TV
Seattle joins several other pioneering cities and states across the U.S. that have chosen to provide housing for the chronically homeless. These programs have shown that the housing actually saves governments money and eventually reduces the overall rate of transient recidivism. Here's a sampling...
The proposed Fourth and Columbia Tower...would be a mixed-use office and residential tower rising up 1,111 feet above the street. It would be 101 stories, with two levels of retail shopping, four levels of above-grade parking, and six levels of office space. It would also play home to 350 hotel rooms, and 1,200 residential units...But being the tallest could be something [developer] Crescent Heights may not want to give up. — KOMO News
"'Are you going to do beautiful architecture or do-gooder architecture?' I want to do neither and both." [...]
"It's not like you're going to design some single product that revolutionizes the way people shape the world around them," Surface said. "You have to change fundamentally how your organization is structured, how your resources are allocated, stop thinking of yourself as a gatekeeper. It's about redistributing how power and decision making and resources are divided between people." — thestranger.com
Prompted by her work with Design in Public in Seattle, this profile of Susan Surface dips into her professional and personal background to designing like she gives a damn, covering the diversity of ways she seeks to question the power structures that perpetuate socially irresponsible or...
No two people, let alone architects, perceive even the most frequented cities in the same way. How do designers experience their cities as locals?The coastal city of Seattle, Washington is not as "sleepy" as some would assume. It's full of gems that the architecturally inclined traveler can...
On Tuesday, Callison and architecture/engineering firm RTKL announced they have officially joined forces as CallisonRTKL...[CEO Lance] Josal said the merger is good news for both firms and 'especially for the Seattle office.' In talking to the firm's senior leaders, Josal said there has been 'a little bit of frustration on their part' because they felt the firm 'may have lost a bit of swagger locally' and wanted an owner that would invest in the firm... — Puget Sound Business Journal
Seattle's tallest skyscraper is about to get a much taller neighbor.
New information submitted to the city shows that the skyscraper planned for Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street will be 101 stories tall. — Biz Journals
Move over LA, Seattle is reaching for the skies: the US Bank Tower may just get knocked off its throne as a proposed tower for Seattle is set to claim its spot as the tallest building on the West Coast.The 1.2-million-square-foot building is slated for the west-side of 4th Ave, directly across...
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