GUEST BLOG /By Matthew Barakat, The Associated Press—This artist rendering (above) provided by Amazon shows the next phase of the company's headquarters redevelopment to be built in Arlington, Va.
The Arlington county Board gave approval Saturday to Amazon's plans to build a unique, helix-shaped tower as the centerpiece of its emerging second headquarters in northern Virginia. The helix is one of several office towers granted approval, but the helix stands out.
The spiral design (by Seattle-based architectural firm NBBJ) features a walkable ramp wrapping around the building with trees and greenery planted to resemble a mountain hike. Amazon has said the building is designed to help people connect to nature, and the outdoor mountain climb will be open to the public on weekends.
Since then, the plans have gone through the famously thorough review process of Arlington County, including numerous public hearings. Earlier this month, the county planning commission voted 9-0 to support the project. On Saturday, the County Board voted 5-0 to approve the plans.
They also include park space and will accommodate a community high school, along with ground-level retail. Amazon has said it hopes to complete the project in 2025.