It has always been my secret dream to live in a greenhouse, so I'm a fan of this design for Amazon's new headquarters. Giant glass domes, looking like some sort of NASA experiment, will be filled with plants and full-size trees. Each dome will be up to 95 feet high.
Why so many plants? Being around nature, even if it's a fake park recreated inside, makes us happier and more productive. One study found that having plants in an office increased productivity 16 percent (though, maybe even more interesting, if employees were able to design their own office spaces—arranging plants and art however they liked—they were 32 percent more productive). Even pictures of plants or trees can help make people happier.
Plants also help clean indoor air, and all of that light doesn't hurt either. Another study found that when office workers move from dark offices to spaces filled with light, their stress levels go down, and the effects last even when they've left the office.
Amazon's new building, in downtown Seattle, will include spaces for meeting, dining, lounging, and 'botanical' spaces just for looking at plants. Green areas between the domes will be open to the public. I'd love to see more offices like this, but for now, maybe we should all try bringing an extra plant or two to work.
Images courtesy of NBBJ
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