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Will Virginia Ever Get Its Glass Poop-Emoji Building?

Amazon's Helix is on hold in National Landing as the company pauses construction on HQ2's second phase.

Helix rendering courtesy Amazon/NBBJ.

Amazon will pause construction on PenPlace, the second phase of its HQ2 development in Arlington, the company announced Friday. A company spokesperson confirms that this delay means the Helix, the signature glass structure so colossal that Amazon had to get the FAA to sign off on its height, will not loom over the National Landing skyline anytime soon.

Amazon touted the Helix as a building that would take “biophilic-led design principles to new heights, integrating nature and working to inspire innovation and invention.” To us, it looked kind of like the business end of a drill bit, or perhaps a glass poop emoji. Or a titanic soft-serve ice cream cone, modeled after what’s reported to be a favorite treat of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos?

Whatever the Helix is supposed to look like, it’ll be a while till it twists into view. MetPark, the first phase of HQ2, will still open in June and will host 8,000 employees with room for 6,000 more, the company says in a statement from John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president for global real estate and facilities. The Washington Post reports that Amazon “has also signaled its need for less office space as its growth slowed and work-from-home became more common.” The company tells Washingtonian it still plans to place 25,000 jobs at HQ2.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.