lunes, 27 de agosto de 2018

ARCHITECT MAGAZINE: Amazon’s Seattle Spheres and the Evolution of the Architectural Biosphere

Early this year, Amazon commemorated the opening of its Seattle Spheres, the showpiece of its burgeoning headquarters designed by Seattle-founded NBBJ. The three nested glass bubbles containing some 40,000 plants from over 30 countries at the base of Amazon’s Tower II serve as an iconic gathering spot and ancillary workspace for company employees and the “new visual focus and ‘heart’ ” of the company’s Seattle offices, according to a Popular Science article. The unusual programming of the building for both plants and people signifies a remarkable advancement in conservatory architecture with intriguing future implications.

The conservatory model traces back to the 16th-century Italian limonaia, or lemon house, a simple brick shed devised as a protective winter shelter for citrus plants. Orangeries emerged further north in Europe with the same purpose, endowed with tall apertures oriented to maximize solar exposure. These structures were not markedly different from other styles of residential construction at the time.


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