Doppler Stairway

Amazon’s 1st Denny Triangle building
Doppler Stairway Promo

The tall building before you is called Doppler. Doppler is named for the first codename for Amazon’s Echo voice operated home assistant. You might know the line of Echo devices by the virtual assistant that lives on the device “Alexa”.

This building was completed in 2015, while The Spheres and much of the Denny Triangle campus were in the early stages of design, Doppler was the first “new” tower in what would eventually become the central part of Amazon’s Puget Sound headquarters.

There are many teams housed in Doppler but one of the most popular with Amazon customers is the Goodreads Group. Goodreads is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon with a mission to help readers get more out of reading and find books they love. As a nod to our reading roots, Doppler houses what many Amazonians refer to as the “Harry Potter” reading room. This room is a tribute to the young wizard and includes a library with a sliding ladder, and a wall featuring text from the very first page of the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

The Harry Potter series has a special place in Amazon history. As many people know, Amazon started off as a bookseller and items were originally stored in our customer fulfillment centers alphabetically. Just prior to the release of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” Amazon’s customer fulfillment group began testing an idea called “random stow”.

With “random stow” items were placed randomly throughout the Fulfillment Center with the notion that it would allow for quicker order picking. The success of this process was quickly reinforced when “The Order of the Phoenix” was released on When orders began flooding in, the original alphabetical model saw every picker flocking to the same shelf where the book was located. With the random stow model, pickers were distributed throughout the Fulfillment Center and able to avoid a major traffic jam. Today you’ll find items randomly stowed throughout all of our Fulfillment Centers - a testament to early learnings. No more backlogs!

Looking around the Doppler staircase you might notice the fern-filled woodland landscape of the mid-block corridor hosts a variety of seasonal surprises, from the iridescent blue berries of the evergreen hydrangea to the bold foliage, mysterious flowers, and radiant fruit of the Himalaya cobra lily.

A metal geometric sculpture sits in front of a staircase

Petros by local Pacific Northwest artist, Julie Speidel. Petros is Greek for “stone and rocks”

The planting beds are complemented by the sculpture Petros by local Pacific Northwest artist Julie Speidel. Petros is Greek for “stone and rocks” and was created as a tribute to the geological history of the Pacific Northwest. Seen in a landscape, Speidel’s sculptures have been described as having a Zen-like relationship with the surrounding area.

Explore the Area
Map showing all tour stops with Doppler Stairway highlighted
Map showing all tour stops with Doppler Stairway highlighted
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