'How we work has evolved beyond recognition,' says Congo-born architect Albert Angel who, with Franco-British entrepreneur Lawrence Knights, has reinvented co-working in Paris with a radical new concept, Kwerk.
Kwerk is a double word play, riffing on the French pronunciation of 'co-work' and 'quirk' with a possible subconscious allusion to 'twerk' – either way, this is a seriously sexy workplace.
'Isolation is the enemy of creativity,' says Angel. 'We wanted to favour interactivity by creating a space with a collective consciousness.'
The 23,680 sq ft building is located in Paris' busiest business district, the eighth arrondissement. It is the second Kwerk in the capital and is the brand's flagship space.
Angel and Knights travel constantly between homes in Bali, New York and Jakarta. Kwerk's interior reflects these multicultural influences with an ambience that is part boutique hotel, part art gallery.
Kwerky touches include Angel's take on Balinese Ogoh-ogoh sculptures inspired by the Hindu celebration of Nyepi, the Day of Silence that welcomes New Year. The Ogoh-ogohs symbolise the association of opposing forces and the converging of communities to face them.
Maud Chuffart, founder of the Yoga House in India, directs the yoga and meditation studio.
Eight velvet-curtained confession booths tiled with coloured cork bricks provide confidentiality; while security is provided by the 'Green Army', knee-high stone statuettes imported from Papua New Guinea with fluorescent green camouflage by Angel.
Two African fertility dolls occupy a shelf in the lobby in a salute to Angel's birthplace. 'I'd be careful with those,' says Knights. 'Our office manager was admiring them and she's just announced she's pregnant.'