A downtown neighborhood in one of the United States’ largest western cities might not seem like a place you’d find a bastion of nature. Then again, Amazon’s Seattle HQ is not a typical place by any stretch. That’s why, as a part of a project to help revitalize the Denny Regrade neighborhood they call home, they’ve contracted a centerpiece known simply as The Spheres.
Located dead in the center of downtown Seattle — just a few blocks from the famed Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and more — these 67,000 square-foot structures consist of a trio of bio-domes that are each interconnected via a series of passageways on the ground, as well as bridges and landings high as three stories up. And they aren’t just a beautiful feat of architecture; the greenhouses also serve as home to over 40,000 different plants across 400 species — of which some are endangered or even extinct elsewhere. Intended, in part, to serve as a micro-conservancy as well as a creativity incubator for Amazon’s employees, the Seattle Spheres are also open to the public on weekends.