Amazon’s HQ2 Reveals The ‘Helix’ In Attempt To Revamp Crystal City, VA
By: Date: June 5, 2021 Categories: Business,Real Estate,Uncategorized Tags: ,

Amazon's Arlington HQ2 will have a Helix building as the focal point

The Helix will have outdoor gardens on the exterior spiral walkways.


The work-from-home trend isn’t stopping Amazon from continuing with its development plans for HQ2 near Crystal City, VA. This week they submitted plans for the Helix—a spherical shaped building on their PenPlace campus which will bring 2.8 million square feet of new office space, an outdoor amphitheater and public parks to one of the city blocks they are developing. This is all part of the $2.5 billion investment the company has planned for the area over the next decade.

Designed by architects NBBJ, the same firm behind Amazon’s ‘Spheres’ on their Seattle campus, the project is expected to begin in 2022, with the goal of this and the three other surrounding office buildings to be completed by 2025. The other three office buildings will be 22-stories high with plans for 100,000 square feet of retail space and at least 2.5 acres of publicly-accessible green space, plus a childcare center.

Amazon, HQ2, PenPlace, Helix

The Helix as viewed from across the river


This 350-tall building will be strikingly different in design when compared to the blocks of boxy office buildings that define the neighborhood. Urban planning, with any sort of vibrancy, has been a challenge for this area just over the bridge from Washington D.C. since it started to emerge decades ago as a more affordable alternative to having offices inside the city. The growth since the mid-70s has meant all the main traffic corridors are dotted with one tall office building after another and very little by way of community-centered gathering spaces.

Ever since the Amazon HQ2 project was announced, designers have attempted to address the lack, with each design calling for multiple places for public events and all the renderings showing images of green spaces surrounding the buildings. The Helix is staying consistent with the same overall goal by having the tree-lined walkways on the outside of the building be open to the public on weekends and some of the ground-level space dedicated for farmers markets.

One spokesperson for the project said the project will be one of “integrating work with nature” and the outdoor walkways will have the type of flora and fauna that grows in the Blue Ridge Mountains further in the southwest of Virginia. Plans also call for the campus to have an Artist-In-Residence program and events to bring the public onto the campus once it is ready.

For more information the official website can be found here.

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