Amazon Reveals Striking Proposal for HQ2

The Helix, a spiraling centerpiece of the 3.3 million-square-foot development, will offer a variety of alternative work environments.

The e-commerce giant has submitted its proposal for the second phase of its Arlington, Va., headquarters campus. Designed by NBBJ, the PenPlace development comprises 3.3 million square feet—of which 2.8 million will be office space—spread across four buildings. The architecture studio was also behind Amazon’s landmark Seattle headquarters, dubbed The Spheres, that opened three years ago.

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The project includes three 22-story towers with ground-floor retail, rising next to its crown jewel, called The Helix. The nature-inspired biophilic double helix structure will house alternative workspaces, as well as two walkable paths spiraling adjacent to the interior spaces, amidst local vegetation. The plan also encompasses 2.5 acres of public open space.

Acorn LLC and JBG Smith are acting as development consultants for the e-commerce company. With the highest energy-efficient standards in mind, the project will target LEED Platinum certification. Its sustainable strategy proposes an electric heating and cooling system, using only solar farm-generated renewable energy.

Amazon’s National Landing Updates

The full-block development will rise on an 11-acre site in Pentagon City, between Army Navy Drive and 12th Street. Amazon acquired the last piece of the PenPlace plot last September, with the purchase of Residence Inn by Marriott, a 299-key hotel now proposed for demolition.

The plot sits just north of the development’s first phase, comprising two 22-story towers already rising in Metropolitan Park. The pair of buildings broke ground in early 2020 and will create 2.1 million square feet of office space.

With its National Landings development announced in 2018, Amazon committed to creating 25,000 jobs and injecting $2.5 billion into the campus. Last December, JBG SMITH has completed the redevelopment of 1770 Crystal Drive, a 273,000-square-foot building, part of the HQ2 expansion. Amazon will lease the office portion of the 14-story property.

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