Amazon’s Helix: green and futuristic


Futuristic, hyper-tech and sustainable. Amazon is developing its new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The project includes three office buildings, one of which will have the form of a helix sustained by curved girders anchored to a big column located within the building. The flooring tiles will extend from the centre to the external perimeter of the building following various patterns. An external walking path will emulate a mountain walk, whereas another will take the visitor to more contemplative open spaces where one will be able to read and relax. The complex in its entirety – designed by architecture firm NBBJ – represents the beginning of a big project for the county of Arlington, for which Amazon is said to be investing 2.5 billion dollars and creating 25 thousand new jobs.

All buildings will have the LEED Platinum certification – the highest certification for sustainable development released by the Green Building Council in USA – with an internal climate conditioning system fuelled by renewable energy, so as to meet Amazon’s goal to compensate carbon emissions by 2040.

The inspiring principle behind the project is that of biophilia: the natural human desire to connect with the natural world. Following this principle, the buildings will be surrounded by over 10 thousand square metres of gardens with trees native to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The area will be available to the public and it will also host bars, restaurants, shops, farmer’s markets, an amphitheatre for outdoor events, a dog park, an area for food trucks and a daycare.

Pedestrians and cyclists will be given full priority, whereas cars and delivery trucks will have to follow alternative, underground routes.

The end of construction works is foreseen for 2025.


Photo: NBBJ