Amazon has opened the doors to its newest office, Hank, in Midtown Manhattan. Previously the home of department store Lord & Taylor, the building has undergone a years long renovation and restoration effort.
With the building designated a landmark in 2007 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee, it was important to Amazon that the project both honor the fashionable roots and original design of this iconic New York City building, while still providing comfortable and collaborative workspaces for the more than 2,000 employees coming to work here.
Take a walk through history inside Hank, named for the textile industry unit of measurement for yarn.
Employees and visitors are reminded instantly of the building’s original purpose when they walk through the front doors.
The building was the fifth location of the store and built in 1914. Almost 110 years later, its lobby is alive with the hustle and bustle of employees coming in to work.
It’s not uncommon for employees to head straight up to the Marketplace for a cup of coffee and some morning views. The space is named “Dot’s” after Dorothy Shaver, Lord & Taylor’s president in 1945 and the first woman president to lead a large department store.
Here, employees can order coffee drinks and food, connect with coworkers over lunch, and have casual meetings in an airy, light-filled environment.
A unique feature is the Bird Cage, inspired by the original café of the same name. The enclosed design provides a comfortable area to work and is clad in a commissioned piece of textile art by local artist, Brit Kleinman, harkening back to the building’s history in the textile industry.
Need some fresh air and space? Step outside to the outdoor terrace, complete with a dog run and imposing views of the Empire State Building. Amazon offices are dog-friendly, so you’ll always find pups and their owners mingling here.
Filled with thickets of plants, walkways, and ample seating, the terrace is a perfect place to soak up some sun.
The terrace also provides access to a courtyard one level below. On a beautiful day, it’s not uncommon to find teams taking meetings out there.
Inside, a spiral staircase connects these floors, making it easy for employees to access the café, terrace, and courtyard.
Each of the floors in the office has a different theme inspired by a textile and references garment industry tools and terms throughout. These graphic decisions were based off the historical use or clothing department on each floor.
In addition, a thread art textile sculpture sits on the walls in front of the building’s central staircase. Spanning nine floors, it hints at the evolution of the building’s purpose through the use of materials like jute, terracotta, eucalyptus, lucite, and brass.
The central staircase, a new addition to building, allows employees to walk to different floors and enjoy the natural light coming through the roof lantern. Changes like this bring light and connectivity to interior spaces, making adaptive reuse possible.
Employees can choose from a variety of spaces to work, from a regular open office to unique, renovated pieces of history.
The Arch Lounge, one example of a historic design feature, incorporates the original entry archway.
The peaceful Solarium Lounge is another area where employees can get a change of scenery while working or meeting with teammates.
If they need more privacy, there are many options for different needs, including phone booths, huddle rooms, private offices, and group meeting rooms.
Beyond work spaces and amenities, there’s a special area in Hank that employees may not even know about: the AWS Builder Studio. The Builder Studio is an 8,000-square-foot showroom, collaboration space, and prototyping lab that showcases innovative products and tools that are built on AWS.
Guests can explore a ton of cool models and interactive displays. Put on a VR headset and try your hand at fulfilling customer orders. Or meet Spot, the famous canine-like robot. You can spend hours playing around with all the applications of AWS here.
AWS customers who have prototyping projects can use the workshop.
We’ll end the day at the top floor of the office and event space, where internal and external events are held with great views of the city.
The scavenger hunt for restored artifacts isn’t over: original bronze elevator lintels (beams) have been turned into a striking 3D art piece.
And a community classroom and event space can be found on the first floor. Amazon has partnered with the City University of New York (CUNY) to provide 1,500-sq. ft. of space for 25 associated colleges to hold university and graduate-level classes, student demo days, host recruiting and alumni events, and more.
We're proud of the latest addition to Amazon’s New York Tech Hub, where the building’s long history of innovation continues for a new generation of employees.