New renderings submitted by Amazon’s architects show updated designs for the three giant, connected biospheres that will serve as the centerpiece of the company’s new campus on the northern edge of downtown Seattle.

This was the original design submitted for the spheres.

Maybe it’s just me, but this looks a lot like a facility that Kirk and Spock might have visited upon returning to Starfleet Command sometime in the 23rd Century — which would make sense, given that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is known to be a giant Star Trek fan.

Or possibly the architects just thought this would look better.

In any case, the new designs shift from the original look — which had a relatively uniform supporting structure of diamond shapes — to what’s described in the latest planning documents as “Catalan spheres,” which sounds like it could be a Star Trek reference (as Hal points out on Twitter) but apparently comes from math theory (thanks for the help, Brad).

[RelatedAmazon plans dedicated ‘cycle tracks’ around new Seattle campus]

Here’s the latest planning document, as submitted to the city. Amazon’s architects, from NBBJ, are set to present these latest plans to the city Design Review Board on Tuesday.

Here’s a slide explaining the new geometry of the biospheres (click for larger image), along with additional renderings showing what they’ll look like. At bottom is an overhead view at night.






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  • Guest

    Good! I speak for everyone in Seattle when I say I approve.

  • woan

    Silent Running? Maybe just a prototype for sending into space…

  • Jon Poland

    The new design looks more like soap bubbles.

  • Patrick Husting

    Love it. Build it fast.

  • Viet Nguyen

    Wait, if Amazon is Starfleet Command, and Vulcan is also local. . .those tiny Belltown dogs could actually be Tribbles. And that means we’re all in trouble.

  • Ceo

    Awesome. When Football in Seattle starts you can get your email going @NFL. pw: playball

  • Mark MacKay

    Over the past year quality of life in South Lake Union has decreased dramatically. Enough upscale development. Are any mixed use buildings being built? Any subsidized housing? This neighborhood is all overpriced affectation. Maybe it looks better when viewed through an iPhone. Mediated—not lived. I’d prefer a park rather than the Bezo’s faux space stations. Looking for innovative and inclusive architecture? Consider The Rural Studio

    • Prophasi

      Wait, you’re saying you prefer subsidized housing – just giving people stuff – to a giant company that employs 30K individuals at a giant, ostensibly beautiful campus that will then require lots of blue collar jobs (builders, carpet installers, cooks, landscapers, security guards, pest control, HVAC folks, window washers, janitors, receptionists, admins, furniture installers, shippers, locksmiths, and so on)?

      Those folks might have to drive from further out, but they shouldn’t need subsidized housing, since most will have ongoing employment at a solid company.

      That’s without discussing the knock-on effects for local businesses, which sound already enormous, long before the place is open. I’m sure all the employees (and soon to be employees) at local stores and restaurants, bike shops and car washes, and movie theaters and coffee shops would agree that they’d rather have a crime-fostering projects area near them than a huge boom in demand and a thriving community of smart and responsible people.

      Without companies doing stuff like this, who’s doing the subsidizing, anyway?

      • Xerxes

        While I, overall, agree with you, I also understand his point. I don’t know that neighborhood, but it sounds like it’s being changed from a very eclectic and personable neighborhood to a neighborhood that is expensive, (relatively) uniform, and very commercial. The type of neighborhood that feels cold and impersonal. It’s fine to work there, but living there… not so much.

  • Jay

    Math theory?

  • Quoen Thaprotes

    At least we’ll have cool spheres to look at while we slave away for the megacorps in the inevitable cyberpunk dystopia of the future.

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