The Helix, the centrepiece of Amazon‘s HQ2 building in Arlington. Image: NBBJ.jpg
Amazon has submitted its proposed development plans for the second phase of new construction for its Arlington, Virginia, headquarters.
The site, PenPlace, features three 22-storey buildings and unites 2.8 million square feet of offices, public gathering areas and street-front retail that seek to create a healthier workforce and community. It will feature pedestrian-oriented walkways to its centerpiece building, The Helix.
The online retailer chose the site just outside Washington DC in late 2018.
Nature and urban landscape
In a blog post, Amazon said it is “doubling down” on the importance of fostering an open and inviting community by creating a new destination for local residents. Designed by architecture firm NBBJ, its plans also infuse nature into the urban landscape and create a sustainable environment where employees can work and invent for its customers.
It continued: “We’ve designed a workspace for our employees that will prioritise areas for collaboration, natural light, and a constant interaction with nature. The design promotes wellbeing and physical exercise, agency (the ability for employees to choose when, how, and where to work), and a strong connection with the local community.
“We believe that campuses should be neighbourhoods that bring people together and not isolated, employee-only spaces that ignore their surroundings.”
Buildings are designed to be LEED Platinum sustainable standard issued by the US Green Building Council. The project also includes an all-electric central heating and cooling system that will run on 100 per cent renewable energy from a solar farm located in Pittsylvania County in southern Virginia, procured in collaboration with Arlington County.
“A true double helix in shape and structure, this unique building will feature two walkable paths of landscaped terrain that will spiral up the outside of the building”
The Helix is similar in concept as Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, The Spheres, which is inspired by biophilia, “the innate human desire to connect with nature”.