Amazon unveiled the design for part of its new HQ2 campus in Arlington today. The plan is a cluster of new office and retail buildings that will accommodate some 13,000 employees. When fully built out, its HQ2 is expected to house upwards of 25,000 employees.
The centerpiece of the proposed campus is something that is being called the Helix, which is a spiraling building with outdoor walkways housing native trees and plants from the Virginia area. The idea is that it will become a place for people to go for walks and hikes “outside.”
Here’s what that looks like (image from architecture firm NBBJ):
In addition to a cool spiraling building, it’s of course also noteworthy that Amazon (along with many other companies) is continuing to forge ahead with its plans to build and occupy more office space in important urban centers.
Here’s a quote from a recent WSJ article talking about the HQ2 announcement:
While numerous tech firms have pledged to allow employees to work from home even after the coronavirus pandemic is contained, Amazon, Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and others have continued to expand their urban office footprints. By investing heavily in big city real estate, they are betting that office space will be an important part of their corporate culture after the pandemic is over.
“We have to think about this as a long-term investment,” said John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities. “These buildings will begin to deliver in 2025. And so we believe that the world will be a much improved place than it is currently.”
Like most companies, they are naturally questioning to what extent some employees won’t be going into the office every weekday. But even still, the above announcement is yet another great example of why office space — and spiraling outdoor spaces — will continue to form an important part of the future of work.