Jonathan Kuhr

MLA I

Office Park:Reclaiming the Corporate Landscapes of Amazon.com

Advised by Sergio Lopez-Pineiro

Office Park: Reclaiming the Corporate Landscapes of Amazon.com proposes a systematic reappropriation of corporate space into the public realm. Viewing the corporate office complex as the contemporary exemplar of private spatial overreach, the project takes as its test case Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

The project reclaims portions of Amazon’s urban campus using the biological materials of landscape architecture, with a recognition that these materials have come to define the public realm in the United States over the past two centuries. The intervention proposes using these living materials in an exaggerated form, adopting an overplanted, forest aesthetic. 

These dense landscapes are designed specifically to serve urban human ecological needs—nature, fresh air, and, as Ash Amin has written, “civic becoming.” By undermining typical lines of view and circulation, these landscapes can also host acts of freedom, democracy, and subversion. These landscapes create public places that challenge marketability and support marginalized populations who, more than most, depend upon the public realm for their quality of life. 

Jonathan Kuhr, MLA I. Green image with trees in front of tall building.
Jonathan Kuhr , MLA I. An alley beside Amazon’s Blackfoot building is occupied by a Western Hemlock-Douglas Fir forest, which spills into the sidewalk to disrupt pedestrian traffic
Jonathan Kuhr , MLA I. A plaza in Amazon’s South Lake Union campus is transformed into two sloping forests with large, sunken, circular clearings that reach out to the street and may be occupied during the day and night
Jonathan Kuhr , MLA I. A parking lot beside Amazon’s Coral building is changed into a tiered parking garage with forests, sitting at their exterior edges, hosting long-term spaces, much like campsites, for those who are living out of their vehicles.
Jonathan Kuhr , MLA I. Amazon’s signature spheres are de-glazed, allowing for the tropical botanicals to be replaced by maple and cedar lakefront plant communities surrounding small, public pools.
Jonathan Kuhr , MLA I. In addition to montage, the project used detailed sections to explore each of the four sites, here the plaza.
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