AMAZON CULTURE

The Spheres

Over 40,000 plants from 30 countries
The Spheres
Listen

You’re now standing at the base of The Amazon Spheres. This iconic building, which opened in 2018, is an intentional example of thinking big about the workplace and reconnecting people to nature through architectural and landscape design.

Many guests ask Why when they see The Spheres. Amazonians will tell you that The Spheres provide a space to think and work differently surrounded by 40,000 plants from over 30 countries, as well as fish from the Amazon rainforest! At Amazon, we have 16 leadership principles that we use to guide our day to day business. One of them is “Think Big”. We believe thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many Amazonians feel that getting outside of their day to day office and into a space like The Spheres allows them to think bigger.

Take a look inside the Amazon Spheres!

hqdefault.jpg
Take a look inside the Amazon Spheres!
Take a walk through lower and upper levels of the Amazon Spheres

The concept of a unique and iconic working space began in February of 2013, starting as a single curved glass building filled with plants and trees. During the early planning, design team members began gravitating towards several sphere-like conservatories, and eventually agreed on three unique sphere-shaped buildings.

In April of 2014, The Spheres hadn’t yet broken ground, but the plants that would become their collection were already being selected. The first plant in the collection was a mountain cacao specimen with Ecuadorean roots, used to make an intensely flavored, bitter chocolate.

A pod hangs from a Theobroma cacao tree in The Spheres

A pod hangs from a Theobroma cacao tree in The Spheres

Construction on The Spheres began in 2015, an engineering marvel of steel and glass that withstands gravity, winds, and seismic forces. The trick to construction was a 400,000-point ring beam, a structural element which supports the roof and absorbs and transfers any shock into the 2.5 million pounds of rebar and 12 million pounds of concrete below.

The Spheres contains 2,643 panes of glass. The last pane was put in place in December of 2016, but the first plants wouldn’t go in until May of 2017. The first plant installed in The Spheres was the Australian tree fern. It was the first plant donated from our collaborative partnership with the University of Washington Botany Greenhouse. In June 2017 a 36,000-pound, 49-foot tall, 22 foot-wide Ficus rubiginosa nicknamed “Rubi” became the largest specimen in The Spheres. The tree was craned through the top of the 7th Avenue side of The Spheres.

A large Australian Tree Fern stands in the middle of a platform

The Spheres’ largest resident, ‘Rubi’ (Ficus rubiginosa)

In October 2017, Amazon horticulturalist, Ben Eiben, installed a 4,000 square foot living wall of his own design. This wall is a centerpiece to The Spheres and holds over 25,000 plants. The team installed this whole wall in only two weeks!

Almost five years on from the initial idea, in January 2018, The Spheres opened with Amazon Executive Chairman and Founder Jeff Bezos using an Alexa voice command. Today, The Spheres are an iconic piece of Seattle’s architecture and a truly unique place for employees. We have hosted three public viewings of the flowering of our rare corpse flower. This corpse flower only blooms every five to seven years and the line to see our beautiful flowers can stretch around The Spheres multiple times.

A living wall of of over 25,000 plants with a "The Spheres" in the middle

A 4,000 square foot living wall designed by Ben Eiben holds over 25,000 plants

Assembling a world-class collection of plants is no small feat. Amazon’s horticulturalist partnered with botanical gardens, specialty nurseries, and private plant collectors, many of whom are involved in plant conservation efforts. Visit seattlespheres.com for more information on our plants and programs.

Explore the Area
Map showing all tour stops with The Spheres highlighted
Map showing all tour stops with The Spheres highlighted
Nearby tour stops
Don’t miss the chance to explore these nearby sites for more fascinating discoveries.
AMAZON CULTURE
Award-winning art and literature
HORTICULTURE
Source of Mediterranean ingredients
AMAZON CULTURE
Visit our furry co-workers