On June 2, my husband, son and I were able to visit the Amazon Spheres in Downtown Seattle. It was quite the experience! The Spheres are only open to visitors two Saturdays a month and a reservation is needed, however, it is a totally free experience, which is hard to come by anywhere these days. The Understory can be viewed at any time and is an example to all of how an urban office space could be created.
Regarding the design of the spheres and plant collection, this from their website:
“An indoor garden from the start, The Spheres were first envisioned as a curved glass building filled with plants and tall trees. During early planning, the design team studied the form and function of several sphere-like conservatories around the world, including the UK’s Kew Gardens, the Mitchell Park Conservatory in Milwaukee, WI, and La Biosfera in Genoa, Italy. Eventually, three distinct buildings emerged, and their shape and geometry evolved over the course of the design process.”
“One driving philosophy behind the plant collection was the concept that The Spheres should feel like “year five on day one.” In light of this principle, the team sourced plants from botanical gardens, private growers, and universities all over the world years before The Spheres opened. These plants still grow in a greenhouse in Woodinville, WA to sustain The Spheres today. Plants regularly circulate between The Spheres and the greenhouses dependent on the season. The very first plant logged in The Spheres plant collection was a Mountain Cacao specimen. Also known as Herrania balaensis, this Ecuadorean cacao species produces pods that can be used to make a sweet and high quality chocolate.”
The Plant Collection is impressive to stay the least and the way in which they framed plants to look like artwork is incredible.
By far, the living wall was one of my favorite displays in the garden as well as the bird’s nest and sun deck to lay an enjoy the heat of the sun when it is out in Seattle.
If you are visiting the Seattle area, I would highly recommend a visit to The Spheres to lavish in this modern architectural marvel, stunning plant collection and design , but remember you must make a reservation, but it is one of the only free things to do in downtown.