In early 2018, Amazon opened The Spheres, a new take on the office environment that embraces biophilic design*…. and takes it to the next level. The Spheres are a result of innovative thinking about the character of the workplace and an extended conversation about what is typically missing from the urban office environment - a direct link to nature.
The Spheres provides a space that is comfortable for people with a unique and meaningful plant collection that inspires curiosity and conservation.
This presentation covers the philosophy behind the building, technological advances and of course, the diverse plant collection from around the world featured in The Spheres.
*Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.
Ron Gagliardo, Sr. Manager, Horticultural Services, Amazon.com, grew up near the Everglades National Park in south Florida, where he developed what has become a lifelong passion and interest in natural history. He trained as a botanist and chemist and received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Botany from North Carolina State University. In 1993,Ron joined the Atlanta Botanical Garden where he worked until 2008 developing the Garden’s tropical plant collections as Curator and managing the Garden’s Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory. In 2001, Ron began to put the techniques of captive propagation to use in developing an active amphibian conservation program at the Garden. This program included components of fundraising, education, captive breeding research and support of range country partners in Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. In 2008, Ron joined the Amphibian Ark team to continue this work in conservation of threatened amphibians through training and capacity building programs literally all over the world.
Missing plants and horticulture, Ron happily became an early consultant for Amazon on The Spheres project in 2013 and in early 2014, became the company’s first official horticulturist. Along with The Spheres, Ron oversees all other aspects of Amazon horticulture and corporate landscapes. With a small, but talented team of horticulturists, he has built an exciting and diverse collection of plants from around the world for display in The Spheres. Ron’s primary goal for The Spheres is connecting people with nature with an amazing “Year Five on Day One” horticultural experience.