Metropolitan Park, Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, has opened, roughly four-and-a-half years after the digital giant chose Northern Virginia for its operations.
Jasper and Merlin, the names the two 22-story buildings have been given, stand 327 feet tall and include “200,000 cubic yards of concrete, which is enough to fill the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool six times,” according to Amazon, which released inside building photos.
Amazon said it names its buildings for “key moments in our evolution.” Jasper, it said, is the code name the company used to “enhance the customer experience for Alexa,” while Merlin is the code name for “QuickSight, a product that helps our AWS customers generate dashboards powered by AI insights.”
Amazon, which began construction on HQ2 in 2020 during the pandemic, said the design of Metropolitan Park was inspired by the region.
In an Amazon news release, John Schoettler, vice president of Amazon’s Global Real Estate and Facilities division, said the design was “highly influenced by the natural beauty of Virginia and the unique history of the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia region. Design elements incorporate native flora and fauna, and use earth tones and natural materials, such as wood and stone, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.”
Watch a time-lapsed video of the construction of Metropolitan Park:
The two towers that span more than more than 2.1 million square feet will be the workplace for about 14,000 workers. The site now has between 6,000 and 8,000, and most will soon be required to work in the office at least three days a week.
The employees will be able to gather in what Amazon calls “centers of energy.” The spaces will be where they can grab lunch or coffee, take one-on-one meetings, or catch up on email.
The buildings have eight food stalls and cafes. Those are in addition to the 14 retail businesses that occupy 50,000 square feet of the complex. The businesses are owned by women and minorities, and include Conte’s Bike Shop, HUSTLE Fitness, Toby’s Ice Cream, the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, and District Dogs.
Amazon will let the public into the ground level of Metropolitan Park. The complex has a 2.5-acre public open space that features a dog park, playground, walking paths, and public art installations.
Other features at the two buildings include rooftop gardens, bike racks, electric vehicle charging stations, and locker rooms with showers for employees who commute.
As Amazon opens its buildings in Arlington, it wants to demolish nine Sterling office buildings, The Washington Business Journal reports. The buildings Amazon wants to destroy are at 45965, 45969, and 45975 Nokes Blvd.; 46000, 46010, and 46020 Manekin Pl.; and 21660, 21670, and 21680 Ridgetop Cir.
Loudoun County is reviewing several site plans where Amazon would replace those buildings with 878,811 square feet of data centers, The Washington Business Journal said. Nokes Boulevard’s buildings would become a two-story data center. Makekin Plaza would be a three-story data center and generator yard. The buildings on Ridgetop Circle would be two data centers.
Feature image courtesy Amazon/Lucas Jackson
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