Amazon Spheres, Seattle

A rainforest in the heart of Seattle: Amazon’s new headquarters “The Spheres”

Biophilia is the love of living things, the love of nature. With a clear focus on biophilic design, global architecture firm NBBJ has created a space in the middle of a densely built-up major US city that combines daily work with a harmonious, natural environment: “The Spheres”, the new heart of Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Its unusual lighting concept is supported by various BEGA luminaires both inside and around the award-winning complex.

“Alexa, open The Spheres”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos officially opened the multi-storey, light-flooded complex, whose entire façade consists of an arrangement of over 2600 panes of glass with the phrase “Alexa, open The Spheres”. From a bird’s eye view, the structure looks as if a giant had fused three oversized glass spheres together and placed them between Seattle’s towering skyscrapers. This architectural masterpiece is home to more than 40,000 plants from over 30 countries. They bring The Spheres to life and allow Amazon employees to unleash their full creativity in a uniquely natural environment. The building is open to the public at set times as well.

All visitors are greeted by glare-free BEGA garden and pathway luminaires, which illuminate the ground surfaces along the pathways with symmetrical, wide-beam light distribution that guides people safely to the entrances. Just like the matching BEGA pole-top luminaires in the outdoor areas, they pick up on the spherical shape of the buildings, while at the same time offering orientation and aesthetics.

In the interior of The Spheres, the spherical architecture is highlighted by more than 30 round BEGA pendant luminaires, which are suspended from the ceiling at various heights. Their seemingly random height arrangement emphasises the naturalness of the space and contributes to the lively atmosphere of the central meeting area on the upper deck. With its green walls of plants, this extraordinary place gives the impression of a magical rainforest above the clouds.

Numerous columns wrapped in vines emphasise the height of The Spheres, a height that instantly amazes all visitors. The columns are highlighted by BEGA compact floodlights with 360-degree glare protection, which simultaneously illuminate the living plant walls from above. In addition, BEGA recessed wall luminaires are dotted around various locations in The Spheres. Compact, surface-mounted recessed luminaires are set into the waist-high, plant-covered concrete walls along the footpaths leading around The Spheres. Their directed light ensures clear and safe guidance along the paths. Once visitors reach the inner courtyard of The Spheres, step-like concrete benches form a generous lounge area. Here, BEGA recessed luminaires for walls and stairs with asymmetrical light distribution illuminate ground surfaces, adding visual depth to the space.

Numerous studies have shown that biophilic room design can make a significant contribution to a positive working atmosphere, while reducing stress and promoting creativity. Against this backdrop, The Spheres is a unique architectural project that not only sets new global standards through its symbiosis of work and nature, but also gives the city of Seattle an important new landmark – all perfectly showcased using BEGA luminaires.

Client Amazon, Seattle

Architecture Architectural Office NBBJ