Amazon has unveiled the design for the next portion of its Arlington, Virginia headquarters, and one building stands out far from the rest: a swirling glass tower covered in trees that rises to a point above the rest of the city’s skyline. Amazon calls the building “the Helix” because its corkscrew shape is supposed to take inspiration from “the natural beauty of a double helix.”
It also — it must be said — bears a distinct resemblance to the swirling poop emoji, though with some healthier colors mixed in.
On the inside, the Helix will be filled with a “variety of alternative work environments” that Amazon employees can use. On the outside, there’ll be two sets of spiraling paths dotted with local plants that you’ll literally be able to hike up. (Though you may want to bring a water bottle — the renders seem to show stairs along the whole route, suggesting it’s a steep path up.) The building will be 350 feet tall, according to The Wall Street Journal. Amazon says that it plans to offer public tours on weekends.
Amazon has a similar standout structure at its Seattle headquarters. There, it has the Spheres, three connected glass globes filled with greenery. Its design is echoed in the similarly glass-and-green Helix, albeit at a much larger scale.
The Helix is still just a proposal, so Amazon will need to get local approval before construction on the building can start. The building and surrounding campus were designed by the architecture firm NBBJ.
Along with the Helix, Amazon also unveiled plans for the campus around it. It’s planning to construct three 22-story buildings around the Helix. Between them, Amazon plans to create a plaza filled with green space and a dog run that’ll all be open to the public. The company is planning to make room for retail stores and restaurants, and, of course, food trucks. There’ll also be parking for 950 bicycles, according to the Journal. This portion of the campus will be located at Pen Place within Arlington’s Pentagon City neighborhood.
The first phase of Amazon’s Arlington headquarters, located just to the south at Metropolitan Park, was approved in December 2019. Construction is now underway on a pair of 22-story towers.