Amazon unveiled its plans for its newest headquarters in Arlington—a sustainable, greenery-infused campus called PenPlace. Designed by the architecture firm NBBJ, the site will include a tower inspired by the natural world, an amphitheater with open green space, and a large community gathering area. The urban tower will feature two walkable paths of terrain on the outside of the building, an artist-in-residence program, and landscaped gardens, according to the company’s press release.
It’s the sort of place destined to become a landmark, putting Amazon’s new neighborhood on the map. But for now, it’s a rendering—and a rather odd one, at that. Amazon is calling the tower “the Helix,” a name that evokes DNA and the Milky Way. Many locals, though, are seeing other things when they look at the drawings. Here are some of them:
A Soft Serve Matcha Ice Cream Cone
A soft serve matcha ice cream cone may be the closest dupe to the Amazon tower. With evenly spaced layers and hints of green (RIP Bôn Matcha), this ice cream cone emulates the nature-urban vibe that Amazon plans for the Helix.
Ok, hear us out—if a piece of fusilli pasta was turned on its side, it would look identical to Amazon’s new tower. We would be surprised if Amazon omitted this perfectly curled pasta from its dining services. How could you not enjoy helix-shaped pasta inside of the actual Helix?
An Average Screw
With a pointed top and large base, your ordinary, run-of-the-mill screw may be the Helix’s new identical twin—minus the greenery, urban landscaping, and flourishing gardens.
Eastern Shore beachgoers may see parallels between the Helix and their finds from seashell hunting. The curvature, artistic design, and smoothness match that of the Helix—although the hollow interior of the shell is a stark departure from the bustling work spaces that will live inside the Helix.
Fans of Bridgerton—and the character Penelope Featherington in particular—know what perfectly spiraled ringlet curls should look like. While Amazon’s Helix may not retain the bounciness of ringlet curls (at least we hope not), the corkscrew structure is certainly similar in its appearance.
An Actual Helix
While this may be obvious due to the structure’s name, the building is almost identical to the Helix models used in a high school biology class—a DNA model come to life in Virginia.
We know this may be a bit of a stretch (pun intended), but we think everyone’s favorite childhood toy poses a resemblance to Amazon’s newest tower. Its spiraled metal rings emulate the wraparound outdoor staircases of the Helix, and like its building twin, seem to be almost never-ending.
The protuberance atop the head in Buddha statues is meant to symbolize the expanded wisdom of enlightenment. Could HQ2 symbolize something deeper about Amazon’s ambitions, too?
The Poop Emoji
A beloved icon—the poop emoji–may need to be the new mascot of HQ2. Its swirled sides, culminating in a dolloped top, is a slightly softer representation of the structured Helix.