The company has transported a 55ft tree from a farm in southern California to the centre of Seattle
The online retailer is today unveiling a miniature rainforest made up of, would you believe it, 40,000 plants from 400 rare or endangered species. It is to form the centrepiece of its $4 billion office expansion at its headquarters.
Communal benches and private study spaces dot the man-made jungle, which is complete with a river and waterfall. According to Ron Gagliardo, the lead horticulturist, this will allow a large chunk of Amazon’s Seattle employees to “feel differently, to think differently” while they compile reports and hold strategy meetings.
With a team of 600 plant specialists, architects and construction workers, the company spent five years planning and developing the office expansion. This involved the transfer of a 55ft Ficus rubiginosa tree, nicknamed Rubi.
Inside the three 100ft-tall biosphere domes, temperatures reach 22C and the space has twice the humidity levels of a typical office. The climate varies so that employees can find a microclimate to their liking. Ventilation systems are installed in fake logs and Tree stumps to simulate an outdoor breeze. Dozens of stadium lights will supplement natural light to simulate 12 hours of daylight and shroud the Rainforest from Seattle’s dark winters. The campus already has 24 restaurants and cafés but will add another run by Renee Erickson, an award-winning chef.