New Amazon HQ2 Renderings Reveal a Futuristic Look for Northern Virginia

Renderings for the second phase of Amazon's second headquarters in Northern Virginia grabbed a lot of attention today.

February 2, 2021, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Amazon Fulfillment Center

By Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

"Amazon unveiled plans Tuesday to build a futuristic building modeled after a double helix to serve as the centerpiece of its Arlington, Va., headquarters," reports Frederick Kunkle.

Double helix might by the descriptor of choice from Amazon's perspective, but armchair critics on social media are also deploying words like drill bit, ice cream cone, and poop emoji.

Whatever you see when you look at the rendering (click through to the source article for the rendering), it's impossible to deny that the building, designed by architectural firm NBBJ, would be a unique and striking addition to the Northern Virginia skyline.

The 350-foot-tall building is intended as an "alternative workspace," according to Kunkle, "where employees would be able to air out ideas and find downtime beyond their cubicles."

"Trees dot terraces along two walkways that spiral upward, evoking the feel of a stroll through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The streetscape below, with wood-frame retail pavilions and green space, is designed to appeal to people and keep them around when the workday ends," according to Kunkle.

The development plan also includes a community center, an amphitheater, a dog run, new bicycle lanes, and 2.5 acres of green space—the last in that list would be open to the public.

Amazon submitted plans today seeking county approval for the second phase of development. "Construction on the Helix and related office complexes is expected to begin in 2022 and wrap by 2025," according to Kunkle. The company has already begun construction on two office towers in the Metropolitan Park section of Amazon's new headquarters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 in The Washington Post

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

The city of Siena in Italy, located on a hillside and bathed in Tuscan sunlight.

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

A science of cities reveals the way cities grow, and why.

September 20, 2021 - Fanis Grammenos

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.