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"You can't be afraid to think big": Inside Amazon's Spheres

Amazon Spheres
Inside Amazon's gleaming new glass Spheres 01:56

SEATTLE -- When folks report to work at some brand new buildings on Amazon's Seattle campus, managers might be tempted to say "welcome to the jungle." It's called the Spheres -- three in all, reaching 90 feet high.

"It's a place where all employees in the company can come and hang out and get in touch with nature," said John Schoettler, vice president of global real estate for Amazon.

It's a 70,000 square foot Amazon rainforest in cold, rainy, downtown Seattle.   

A look inside Amazon's Spheres in downtown Seattle CBS News

The company asked horticulturalist Ron Gagliardo to make it happen.

"You can't be afraid to think big," he said.

A 62-foot wall is the centerpiece of Amazon's Spheres. It's made up of 25,000 plants -- 200 species from 30 countries. That includes a 55-foot fig tree named "Rubi," that could only be brought in by crane, and a temporary hole in the roof. There are streams, fish, chocolate plants, and vanilla orchids -- all designed for employees with high-stress jobs to disconnect.

"We want people to walk on this and go, 'Oh, wait a minute, it's moving. I better put my phone down,'" said Gagliardo.

More than 25,000 plants are inside Amazon's Spheres in downtown Seattle CBS News

Amazon pumped $4 billion into the campus, designed both for visitors and its rapidly growing Seattle base, now up to 40,000 workers.

"One of the complaints you hear is that Amazon came in and then the prices of everything went through the roof," CBS News said to Schoettler. "A lot of jobs have been created, well beyond all the Amazon jobs," he responded.

The complex is opening next Tuesday. Watch out Space Needle, there's a new landmark in town.

Take a closer look at the extended tour with Ron Gagliardo, who explained how this unique living office space all came together:

A tour of Amazon's Spheres 09:40

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