Design Knowledge Intermediary
Amazon's mini rainforest work space spheres
After seven years of planning and construction, Amazon’s mini rainforest spheres are finally opening in Seattle. “The Spheres,” as they’re known, hold 40,000 plants from 30 different countries around the world. They were designed as places employees can go to take a break or meet up with others away from their desks. The spheres also feature living walls, which are vertical gardens with over 25,000 plants woven into 4,000 square feet of mesh.
The structure is made of three connected spheres constructed from glass and steel, and they can accommodate up to 800 people. The biggest sphere is 90 feet high and 130 feet wide. Inside, it’s warm and humid, with temperatures sitting at an average of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 percent humidity. There are micro-climates within the spheres, so if you prefer something a bit hotter or cooler, there’s most likely a space that’s suited to your comfort. So you’re not too hot and bothered, there’s a ventilation system that mimics a windy breeze.
The spheres are equipped with Wi-Fi and meeting rooms with rainforest-y names like “bird’s nest.” Even with the option to relax, Amazon will monitor how long employees spend inside the spheres via their ID badges, so no one can dominate the space or ignore tasks to spend an entire day in man-made nature.


- www.theverge.com