Back in 2017 Amazon submitted a request for proposals from local governments to bid for its second headquarters, or as it refers to it HQ2. Over a year and probably hundreds of bids later Amazon announced that they had chosen Arlington, Virginia for its new office park. This week the company published photos and descriptions of its newly finished first buildings on its campus, Metropolitan Park.
The buildings have a lot of things you would expect from a new office tower and a few new, novel additions. One of these is what it calls “centers of energy.” These gathering spaces “will be buzzing hubs for formal and informal interaction where employees can purchase lunch or a coffee, take a one-on-one meeting from a booth, or grab a seat to catch up on email.”
Much of what Amazon talks about in its announcement has to do with what is outside of the office than in it. The grounds will feature a 2.5 acre public open space with more than 175 native trees, walking paths, and children’s play areas. It will also have more than 50,000 square feet of retail space where they prioritized 14 minority and woman owned businesses. The emphasis on the spaces and amenities outside of the building show what many are learning, that to get office workers back to the office they need to be enticed with things they can’t get from home, even if they have little to do with their actual work.