“With a three-storey jungle above, the restaurant takes its namesake from a thistle-like flower christened in honour of Victorian horticulturist Ellen Ann Willmott,” said Heliotrope in a project description.
Serving Roman-style pizza and Italian cocktails, the eatery measures 1,900 square feet (177 square metres) and seats around 50 diners, and can be accessed independently from the street.
Both the setting within The Spheres and the cuisine influenced the design of the restaurant. The white-painted steel and glass structure curves around the space, restricting the layout of all the furnishings and fixtures.
“Enclosed within the spherical envelope, the area housing the restaurant proved an incredible – and inspiring – challenge, are much of the architecture is dictated by curves,” said Heliotrope.
Along the outer edge, arc-shaped booths upholstered in dark green leather are positioned one side of the entrance, while a continuous bank of seating gently bends around the other.
The same colour wraps the base of the marble-topped bar, which similarly bows through the space.
Circular tables, with mint-green metal bases that match the bar stools, accompany the banquettes, and white oak chairs provide additional spots for diners.
Above the tables hang Crescent pendant lights by Lee Broom, continuing the spherical theme.
The colour palette was taken from the Italian flag, or a margherita pizza, but pared down to pastel shades that include a soft pink used to cover concrete columns and the host stand.
Blush-coloured tiles also line behind the bar and the walls in the bathrooms, where brass fixtures echo the lamps, bar shelves and other details in the main space.
Fitting a pizza oven and other kitchen services proved tricky within the confines of the structure. “It was like building a ship in a bottle,” said Heliotrope principal Mike Mora.
The Spheres were designed by architecture firm NBBJ, and provide non-typical workspaces for Amazon employees within the botanical environment. Visitors can access portions of the orbs to admire the flora, but are restricted to certain areas.