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Exploring Amazon's Second American Headquarters: A Marvel of Innovation and Sustainability!

Hey there, fellow tech enthusiasts! Today, we're diving into the captivating story of Amazon's grand plan to establish its second headquarters in the United States. As one of the most valuable companies globally, Amazon aims to create a plush, statement headquarters that will leave everyone in awe. Buckle up and join us on this thrilling journey as we unravel the development and construction of Amazon's latest American hub!


Table of Contents

  • Introduction: A Proposal Flooded in Requests
  • Arlington, Virginia: The Chosen Location
  • 'HQ2' and 'PenPlace': Transforming a Neighborhood
  • The Impressive Design of the Helix Building
  • Nature and Work Unite: A Biophilic Approach
  • An Oasis for Creativity and Collaboration
  • Green Energy and Sustainable Practices
  • A Community-Focused Vision
  • An Amazonian Adventure Awaits!


Introduction: A Proposal Flooded in Requests

In 2017, when Amazon announced its plans to build a second headquarters, the response was nothing short of overwhelming. The company received a staggering 230 proposals from cities and states across the United States, all eager to be the chosen location for Amazon's next crowning glory. The competition was fierce, with each proposal highlighting the immense benefits that Amazon's presence would bring to their respective areas.

Initially, Amazon intended to establish its new headquarters jointly in New York. However, due to local protests, including the storming of an Amazon store, the company decided to explore an alternative location. Eventually, Arlington, Virginia emerged as the perfect host for Amazon's vision of creating a 100% renewable-energy sourced hub known as 'HQ2.'


Arlington, Virginia: The Chosen Location

Arlington, situated not far from Washington D.C., won the bid and was selected as the site for Amazon's second American headquarters. This decision will undoubtedly transform the city's skyline and breathe new life into a once drab neighborhood. The projected influx of approximately 25,000 employees will provide an enormous boost to Arlington's economy.


'HQ2' and 'PenPlace': Transforming a Neighborhood

The new site, referred to as 'HQ2' and 'PenPlace,' will operate alongside Amazon's existing main location in Seattle. The sprawling complex will encompass a total of 2.8 million square feet of office space, with the latest phase adding three new 22-story buildings. However, the true centerpiece of this architectural marvel is the breathtaking 'Helix' building, which is already capturing the imagination of many.


The Impressive Design of the Helix Building

Rising to a height of 350 feet, the Helix building is an architectural marvel that astounds both inside and out. Some humorously liken it to a "glass poop emoji," but the design is far more elegant and awe-inspiring than the playful comparison suggests. This magnificent structure takes the form of a swirling inverted cone, adorned with lush greenery and captivating outdoor walkways.


Nature and Work Unite: A Biophilic Approach

Amazon's design philosophy for the new headquarters places a strong emphasis on the well-being of its employees. The concept of 'biophilia,' which taps into the human desire to connect with nature, takes center stage. It echoes the company's existing biodomes at its Seattle headquarters, where nature and work harmoniously coexist.

Dale Alberda, the lead architect from the renowned firm NBBJ, which has previously designed corporate buildings for industry giants like Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, explains the vision. "We're building a series of indoor atriums and gardens that are not just places to visit, but places where you can actually work." This innovative approach transforms the workplace into a nurturing environment, promoting physical exercise, mental well-being, and a sense of tranquility.


An Oasis for Creativity and Collaboration

The Helix building serves as a hub for employee well-being, offering an abundance of alternative work environments and areas for meetings and social interactions. The premises can accommodate over 1,500 people in its meeting center and even features an artist-in-residence program to foster creativity within the community.

While Amazon has been relatively tight-lipped about the day-to-day office spaces, the company's focus on the Helix and the surrounding parklands highlights the commitment to creating an engaging and inspiring atmosphere. It's evident that the company aims to provide its employees with an exceptional space to work, collaborate, and connect with nature.


Green Energy and Sustainable Practices

Amazon's commitment to sustainability shines through every aspect of the new headquarters. The entire complex will operate on solar energy, which will be harnessed from a solar farm located 200 miles away in Pittsylvania County, South Virginia. Natural ventilation systems, rainwater recycling, and maximized natural lighting are just a few of the eco-friendly features incorporated into the design. The entire complex is expected to achieve LEED Platinum accreditation, the highest certification for sustainable development awarded by the US Green Building Council.


A Community-Focused Vision

Amazon recognizes the importance of building strong community relations, especially after the challenges faced during the New York protest experience. The company has pledged to support the Arlington community by allocating $2 billion to create 1,300 affordable homes in the area. This commitment aims to offset any potential negative impact on housing costs, ensuring that the community thrives alongside Amazon's expansion.


An Amazonian Adventure Awaits!

The new site promises to be more than just a corporate headquarters. It will be a vibrant community space open to the public, with 2.5 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens. Biking trails, electric car charging points, and a plethora of non-Amazon businesses will be nestled amongst the parkland, providing a dynamic and inclusive environment for all.

Additionally, the outdoor spaces will feature a 250-seat concert venue, ideal for outdoor events and movie screenings. Dog-walking parks, day care facilities, food truck spaces, and hiking trails will further enhance the overall experience. The ground level will be thoughtfully designed to resemble an ultra-modern city block rather than a conventional corporate headquarters. Amazon's intent to prioritize community engagement over corporate branding reflects their commitment to positive relations and creating a potential tourist attraction.



As Amazon's second American headquarters takes shape in Arlington, Virginia, it is evident that the company is forging ahead with a vision that transcends traditional corporate landscapes. By merging nature, sustainability, and cutting-edge architecture, Amazon is set to create a hub of innovation and inspiration. The new site will not only redefine the Arlington skyline but also set an example for future developments.

Exciting times lie ahead for Amazon, its employees, and the local community. With a commitment to sustainability, employee well-being, and community support, Amazon's second American headquarters is set to become a beacon of success and a testament to the company's unwavering ambition.




Is the Helix building purely for offices?

No, the Helix building is not the primary location for offices. It serves as a unique hub where work and nature intertwine, providing employees with alternative work environments and spaces for meetings.


What are some notable sustainable features of the new headquarters?

The new headquarters will operate on solar energy, utilize natural ventilation and rainwater recycling systems, and maximize natural lighting to reduce the need for artificial lighting. The entire complex will be LEED Platinum accredited for sustainable development.


Will the new headquarters be open to the public?

Yes, the outdoor spaces of the headquarters, including the landscaped lawns, gardens, and parkland, will be open to the public. Amazon envisions creating a vibrant community space that fosters engagement and inclusivity.


How will the new headquarters benefit the Arlington community?

Amazon has committed to investing $2 billion to create 1,300 affordable homes in the area, supporting the local community and offsetting any potential negative impact on housing costs. The headquarters will also attract non-Amazon businesses, fostering economic growth.


Is the new headquarters easily accessible to visitors? 

Yes, the new headquarters is conveniently located near downtown Washington, D.C., just 15 minutes away by subway. Its proximity to the capital makes it easily accessible for both potential employees and visitors.

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