Drapers looks around Amazon’s new east London headquarters.
In the heart of Shoreditch, slotted between the creative hub of the east and the besuited bustle of the City of London, lies Principal Place – the towering 15-storey office that is the new home for ecommerce behemoth Amazon.
Amazon moved into 600,000 sq ft of office space in the property at the end of July – its third London office after the ones in Barbican and Holborn. It is near the etailer’s Hoxton fashion studio, where it shoots imagery for its burgeoning clothing offer.
Amazon is set to double the number of research and development roles based in the city. There will be 900 high-tech roles in the new office, mainly focusing on the Prime video service – up from the current 450 in its development team. By the end of 2017, it expects to have 5,000 employees across its three London offices and a total UK workforce of 24,000.
Principal Place features 20,000 sq ft of retail space, alongside office and events facilities and a public piazza. Auditoriums, roof terraces, cafes and restaurants all make up part of the new hub.
Doug Gurr, country manager at Amazon, described the office as a “purpose-built workplace” for his “team of innovators”.
In keeping with its home in east London’s “Silicon Roundabout” of high-tech businesses, the building has a futuristic, industrial aesthetic, and work by local artists is displayed throughout.
To mark the opening and support the local and wider community, Amazon unveiled plans to fund
1 million school breakfasts in the 2017-18 school year, and doubled the size of the Amazon Women in Innovation bursary. Each year, the bursary will fund up to 24 university students who are attending Cambridge, Edinburgh or King’s College, London.
Since 2010, Amazon has invested £6.4bn in its UK business, and it is not the only company making London its tech home: Yoox Net-a-Porter Group unveiled a new tech hub in White City in July.
London mayor Sadiq Khan, said the opening showed the strength of London’s tech scene: “London is open to talent, innovation and entrepreneurship, and is the natural place for major global companies to call home. This is the latest in a long line of recent major investments in London by global tech firms, and shows that our great city is the tech capital of Europe.”