In what may come as a surprise to anyone who works downtown in Seattle, the giant “biospheres” under construction at Amazon’s headquarters aren’t for show.

That’s according to NBBJ’s Scott Wyatt, one of the chief architects behind the structures.

“It’s not a set piece,” he said on stage at the GeekWire Summit Tuesday. “It’s not a showpiece. It’s not a showcase for people to come in from the outside. This is for the people that work at Amazon. It’s an alternative workplace, a place where you can go be among plants in a profound way.”

The biospheres are part of a 3.3 million-square-foot office complex spanning three blocks in the heart of Seattle’s business district. Amazon hired a full-time horticulturist to populate the structures with plants that thrive in a climate that’s also comfortable for humans. The idea, as Wyatt noted, is to create a temperate workspace for Amazon employees.

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