This structure is the newest kid on the block. What is this building? They are the new Amazon Spheres located in Downtown Seattle.
What are the Spheres?
The spheres are a workplace for Amazon employees that help connect nature with the workplace. The spheres are home to 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries. The Spheres also have some meeting spaces for Amazon employees and a restaurant! The plants that are in the Spheres are meant to emanate a Cloud Forest. What is a cloud forest? It is a forest in a region with consistent cloud cover, with clouds which actually dip into the forest itself, creating a very moist, misty, dim environment.
How Can I Visit?
The visit schedule changed since the spheres opened. You can visit the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month for free. Reservations are required. The dates become available 30 days out and tend to fill up rather quickly. There is no guided tour and you are free to wander at your own pace. There are employees there to answer all your questions about the plants. If you go early enough, you can get donuts from General Porpoise (they are SO SO GOOD!), and a coffee.
You can book your visit by visiting this link
What Can I Expect?
There are several floors of plants and views to explore. Plan to spend an hour here or more if you like to sit and take in the views. It is just like any other greenhouse. It is humid and a slightly warmer environment. My favorite parts in the spheres are the living plant wall, the bird's nest and a seating area opposite the bird's nest. You can spin a wheel to raise a giant "leaf" up and down. When we visited in the early afternoon, it wasn't too crowded, but because anyone who enters earlier is allowed to stay as long as they want, it may be a bit crowded in some of the more popular areas.
Where are the Spheres Located?
The entrance to the Spheres is on 7th and Lenora
Can I go in the Spheres without a reservation?
Yes! Well, technically not in the part of the Spheres I just told you about. However, there is a bar at the base of the Spheres called Deep Dive! It is a super unique bar with pricey bar foods and unique cocktails! Though I haven't visited yet, I have it on my list!
Brief Construction Timeline
February 2013 - Proposal of the building
April 2014 - Plants were chosen and cultivated in a greenhouse in Woodinville
June 2015 - Construction begins
March 2016 - Metal structure is complete
December 2016 - Glass panels installed
May 2017 - Plants placed in spheres
October 2017 - Living wall complete
January 2018 - Grand Opening
Where can I Visit Other Cloud Forests?
Immediately the Singapore Cloud Forest comes to mind! After visiting in September 2018, it inspired me to go and visit something in my own town. Though the Seattle Spheres don't pale in comparison to the vast size of the Singapore Cloud Forest, it is still amazing we have something this cool in Seattle. Did you miss my post on the Cloud Forest? Read my review on the Gardens by the Bay!
If you want to visit live cloud forests around the world, you can head to: Central and South America, East and Central Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and the Caribbean.
Have you visited the Seattle Spheres? What was your favorite part?