Amazon is opening a new 63,000-square-foot family home in one of the Seattle headquarters office buildings
Amazon has opened a permanent homeless shelter in one of its office buildings at its Seattle headquarters.
The online store and nonprofit Mary’s Place announced on Thursday that they have officially opened the Mary’s Place Family Center at The Regrade – a family shelter that can accommodate up to 200 people.
Although built in one of Amazon’s office buildings, the eight-storey 63,000-square-foot shelter is separated from Amazon’s offices by private entrances and acoustic insulation, according to a joint press release.
Amazon and non-profit Mary’s Place announced the opening of Mary’s Place Family Center at The Regrade on Thursday. It is located in one of the Amazon headquarters buildings in Seattle
The family shelter is located on eight floors of an office building in Amazon and covers 63,000 square feet. The other half of the building consists of office space from Amazon
Among the shelter’s facilities are an industrial kitchen (pictured), a large dining room – large enough for social distances – and space for Amazon’s legal team to provide pro bono support
A view of a common area in the new shelter, with a variety of clothes and shoes
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos thanked Mary’s Place for working with Amazon at the shelter
The family shelter and the Amazon offices have an acoustic partition and have their own entrances. Squares and other public areas are for use by both families and Amazon employees
Among the features of the shelter are a large dining room – large enough for social distances – an industrial kitchen with commercial cooking equipment, space for Amazon’s legal team to provide pro bono support, and recreation areas for children and teens.
John Schoettler, Amazon vice president of global real estate and facilities Fast operation that the office building ‘was essentially divided in half lengthwise. Half is divided for use by Amazon. The balance on the other hand is being used by Mary’s Place. ‘
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos pictured in 2019
Acoustic separation between the two halves of the building was crucial ‘Since Mary’s Place is a 24/7 operation, on the one hand there will be many children and different activities, while on the other hand there can be many heads – unemployment and quiet space or many meetings, “he said.
However, squares and other public areas around the building are made to be used by both Amazon employees and the families residing in the shelter.
One of Mary’s Place’s requests to convert the office building into a home was to have separate rooms for families to sleep peacefully, which was challenging because the building is a typical office tower.
The project designers found a solution to the problem after realizing that “for the highest quality sleep you can get in a communal environment, you don’t need a window,” Peter Krech of Graphite Design told Fast Company.
Instead, “You need an acoustic door, you need an acoustic ceiling, and you need a very comfortable space. But you can bring the daylight and the high-quality experience spaces to the community and social spaces, and you can take the sleep program and make it really special built, ”he added.
Two of the floors in the new shelter are intended for medically vulnerable children. There is also a program for new mothers and their babies
The shelter applies strict sanitary measures and social distance during the coronavirus pandemic. There are currently only 50 families in the reception center
Bunk beds are set up in a room where families can sleep with a privacy curtain
Project designers created windowless spaces specifically designed to get a good night’s sleep, saving spaces with windows for common areas
The interior of a sleeping area with bunk beds and a sink. The sleeping areas are soundproofed to ensure a good night’s sleep
A communal bathroom area in the shelter is shown here with changing rooms for babies
The shelter also has communal washing machines and dryers for residents to use
Common meeting rooms have been set up for residents to use during job interviews or filling out school forms and getting legal assistance
The shelter provides computers that residents can use while looking for work or homework
A common outdoor area near the shelter that can also be used by Amazon workers
Two of the shelter’s eight floors are reserved for medically vulnerable children, and on-site health care is available to them, while rooms are also reserved for residents and volunteers – including Amazon employees – to use as meeting spaces such as community centers.
While the coronavirus pandemic is underway, the shelter houses 50 families – each in private rooms – and following a strict cleaning schedule and social distance rules. It also provides access to coronavirus testing.
Under normal circumstances, it is expected that the shelter can accommodate more than 1,000 families per year.
Mary’s Place Family Center in The Regrade is now the largest family daycare center in Washington State, according to Amazon and Mary’s Place.
“This new hideaway, which opened then, was our salvation,” said Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place in the news release. “It was our neighbors at Amazon who recognized what we needed before we ever realized it, and this space means we don’t have to bring families back to homelessness in this unprecedented and difficult time.”
Hartman also noted that ‘in the new shelter’ our children can safely finish school – our employees look longer at children to support working parents who have lost access to childcare – and moms and dads can look for new jobs on new laptops . ‘
The childcare plans were first announced in 2017, with Amazon offering free rentals and utilities to Mary’s Place.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos posted photos of the new space to his Instagram account on Thursday and thanked Mary’s Place for collaborating to bring this creative solution to life. #NoChildSleepsOutside. ‘