New Amazon HQ design in Virginia draws mixed reviews: ‘Poop-moji’


Some people never grow out of potty humor.

Amazon has unveiled the proposed design for its second headquarters in Arlington, Va., with some critics likening its twisted tower to the excrement emoji – while fans were flushed with approval.

On Tuesday, the tech giant released illustrated renderings of the next phase of its headquarters redevelopment in Virginia, sharing shots of the helix-shaped structure called PenPlace.

The tech giant released illustrated renderings of the next phase of its headquarters redevelopment in Virginia, sharing shots of the helix-shaped structure called PenPlace.

The tech giant released illustrated renderings of the next phase of its headquarters redevelopment in Virginia, sharing shots of the helix-shaped structure called PenPlace.
(NBBJ/Amazon)

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At the center of the pitch for three, traditional 22-story office buildings which will one day house some of the 25,000 jobs Amazon has committed to creating in the area though the next decade, the double helix building is dotted with trees and can be climbed from the outside like a hike.

“The Helix at our Arlington headquarters will offer a variety of alternative work environments for Amazon employees amidst lush gardens and flourishing trees native to the region,” Amazon said of the space, designed by architecture firm NBBJ. The unique building will also host an artist-in-residence program to promote “the intersection of art and science,” and offer public tours during select weekends each month.

While Amazon takes it back to nature, some Reddit users couldn’t resist poking fun at the swirling shape.

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“Can’t unsee this now,” one user cracked, comparing an image of the PenPlace proposal with the poop emoji in a post that’s been upvoted over 800 times.

“Amazon H-Poo 2,” one joked, as another summed it up as a “poop-moji spiral forest hill.”

“Looks like a Villain HQ,” another teased.

Fans didn’t think the potty humor was quite so funny, however, and praised Amazon’s innovative, eco-friendly design

“It looks beautiful to be honest,” one argued. “Imagine starting your days by having a healthy uphill walk in a forest to your office, looking out your window and seeing trees and the Potomac.”

“This area could use some interesting architecture. Better than the other cement boxes in Pentagon/Crystal City,” another echoed.

"This area could use some interesting architecture. Better than the other cement boxes in Pentagon/Crystal City," one fan said on social media.

“This area could use some interesting architecture. Better than the other cement boxes in Pentagon/Crystal City,” one fan said on social media.
(NBBJ/Amazon)

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“I love the natural aspect, and would seriously envy anyone who worked there. It’s definitely a change from the concrete jungle,” a nature lover said.

It remains to be determined, however, whether locals will love or loathe the proposed plans. Matt de Ferranti, chairman of the Arlington County Board, called the helix pitch “interesting” and said county residents will have the chance to voice their opinions before the new HQ is approved.

“Neighbors and all stakeholders will have the opportunity to review the design concept in further detail and multiple opportunities to comment,” Ferranti said, according to the Associated Press. “We expect that the plans will come before the County’s Planning Commission and County Board by the end of the year for final consideration.”

A projected completion date is currently set for 2025.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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