Amazon Spheres – Seattle, Washington - Atlas Obscura
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Seattle, Washington

Amazon Spheres

The tech giant built three enormous glass orbs in Seattle so employees could work inside a rainforest greenhouse. 

For generations, the word “Amazon” has been associated with the sprawling South American rainforest. More recently, however, the name belongs to the online retail giant, and now the tech company has created something of a Venn diagram of the two.

Amazon recently built a mini rainforest biosphere in Seattle, known as the Amazon Spheres, which opened to the public in 2017 after six years of planning. Located in the downtown South Lake Union Seattle neighborhood, the lush, verdant, multi-leveled workspace was created primarily for Amazon employees to help spark creativity for the often overworked and desk-bound staff. 

Comprised of three giant three-story glass orbs, the structure looks futuristic from the outside. But on the inside, it looks like an office park overtaken by some 40,000 plants from more than 400 species of plants, many of them tropical. On the top floor is a brainstorming area known as the “bird’s nest.” In total, the structure amasses 620 tons of steel and 2,643 panes of glass—though it includes no formal offices. And while the biosphere is elegant and, well, fresh, it may end up attracting more Amazon employees to the Emerald City. So if you want your chance to smell the proverbial Amazon flora, best get your reservation in now.

Know Before You Go

The spheres are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Tours take around 20-40 minutes.

While public admission to the facility is free, those interested must make a reservation. The tours, as one might expect, are popular and reservations are currently filled through June.