Amazon Spheres Restaurant Embraces Its Curves
Seattle Eatery Willmott's Ghost Offers Warmth, Whimsy, and Pizza
The idea for Amazon's trio of iconic glass domes located in downtown Seattle originated, in part, as an effort to provide green space for the community as well as the tech giant's employees in the city. This emphasis on the natural world is also at play in the Spheres' recently opened restaurant, Willmott's Ghost.
Named for the Eryngium giganteum thistle plant—commonly referred to as Miss Willmott's ghost—the Roman-style pizza eatery led by James Beard award-winning chef Renee Erickson embraces a softer play of the hues of the Italian flag with white, mint, and pink accents throughout. Occupying 1,900 square feet with seats for around 50 customers, the restaurant is one of only three spaces in the Spheres open to the public and features a separate street entrance.
“We want visitors to the restaurant to feel welcome, alive and happy to be there," says Mike Mora, principal and co-founder of local firm Heliotrope Architects, which designed Willmott's Ghost. “The space has a conviviality that says to the customer, 'We're happy you're here and we're going to take good care of you.'"
Inspired by the geometry of the Spheres, the firm opted for multiple curved elements for the interior, including rich leather banquettes and booths, a semi-circular bar, and even the dining room walls—which are clad in painted wood pickets reminiscent of the knurling on the sides of a coin.
White oak chairs, table tops, and bar stools with mint green accents, brass hardware, and colorful artwork by Portland, Ore.-based Ellen Lesperance provide warmth and whimsy contrasting the cold glass and steel structure of the domes.
In a collaboration with interior design firm Price Erickson, the team incorporated custom brass elements throughout, including the liquor racks above the central white marble bar as well as the sink and mirror in a millennial pink-tiled bathroom. The orb-like lighting fixtures that illuminate the space also feature brass accents.
The designer's favorite space, the bathroom, required particularly creative design solutions.
“The only place for [the bathroom] was in an oddly shaped space with a massive wall of glass facing the street and sidewalk," Mora explains.
“By incorporating a custom brass sink, pink tile on the walls and ceiling, and translucent film on the glass, we created a beautiful sunlight filled little room with a strangely intimate connection to the public space outdoors."
The team describes assembling Wilmott's Ghost, “like building a ship in a bottle," due to the unique dimensions of the space. “Think square peg, round hole," Mora says.