Design-conscious co-working spaces around the world
Modern workspaces must be adaptable and ergonomically sound. Cast iron, plywood and hanging plants are also requisite. Dispatching from creative companies and desirable desk spaces, we track down the designers responding to our evolving working behaviours. Are you sitting comfortably?
At One Horse Guards Avenue in Westminster, Sella Concept has created a ’heritage-meets-modern’ design for a GovTech co-working space initiated by venture firm PUBLIC and workspace accelerator Huckletree. The French Renaissance style architecture of the building from 1884, and its storied past as an apartment block and the an MI6 HQ during World War I, played an important role in the design process. Sella Concpet played with materials such as French cane on the reception desk, balancing ornate fireplaces and cornicing with bold colour palettes and bold design choices. ‘We added a contemporary layer that merges both worlds with a discreet elegance that can make you feel calm, at home, and inspired to create,’ says Tatjana von Stein, co-founder, Sella Concept. The open-plan space with plenty of communal areas was important to facilitating collaboration between innovators, civil servants and Westminster policymakers. Photography: Genevieve Lutkin
Firma + Cantine II, Brussels
Baroness O. converted this vacated office building, formerly home to Brussel’s regional office for employment, into a temporary co-work, art and lunch space. Collaborating with architecture firm Keper Architecten, Baroness O. was guided by the temporal time span afforded to the concept (open until 2021) when designing the material pallette. Cost-efficient and reusable materials, including transparent walls and textiles, give spaces modular flexibility. ‘Our creative community is in need of lectures and inspiring events in a central, easy to reach location,’ explains Baroness O. founder Anne Van Assche. ‘We’re organising our first events this summer already.’ Photography: Jeroen Verrecht
Shui-On INNO SOCIAL, Shanghai
The ever-developing, public character of Shanghai informed Aim Architecture’s interior overhaul of this art deco building in Yangpu district. Catering to the freelancer, corporate business and everything in between, the Shui-On INNO SOCIAL co-working space offers 65,000 sq m of workspace across two buildings. Wood interiors weave around social spaces hosting kitchens and sleep pods, complemented by splashes of pastel hues across walls and furniture. A courtyard at the facility’s heart features a ‘community loop’, connecting the offices with retail stores and cafes. The architects hope this space will foster new interactions and working relationships. Photography: Dirk Weiblen
Studio Alexander Fehre
Stuttgart-based interior design studio Alexander Fehre responded to the concept of MATES – a co-working space created as a platform for exchange between young creatives – with a bright, relaxed interior. Inviting rubberized cork-lined boxes on the exterior glazed wall with desks inside are ideal for working in small groups, while smaller boxes with alternative arrangements – such as a comfy chair with desk, or a small table with two chairs – are designated for more focused work. Brightly coloured furniture – such Muuto’s fiber armchair with swivel base in Dusty Red – contrast the wood floor and neutral walls.
Launch22, a registered charity providing affordable workspace to entrepreneurs from all walks of life, has opened its second location in Poplar in east London. The space, formerly an old shoe shop, has been outfitted by local firm Salthill Studio for 58 members. Interior pieces range from reclaimed lockers, storage units and chairs to bespoke designs by the firm, including handmade plywood tables. The 2,700 sq ft of space is split over two floors, hosting facilities for events, a sizeable kitchen area with ping-pong table, breakout area and hot desks on both levels.
SOHO 3Q WuJiaoChang, Shanghai
Ippolito Fleitz Group
Buzzing with energy, this co-working space, commissioned by SOHO China, a leading private real estate developer, is aimed at millenials (China’s largest demographic). An unused 1980s department store has been revitalized into a workspace that seeks to break convention with its varied and colourful design of terrazzo floors, open ceilings and wooden surfaces. Designed for flexibility and growth, all areas are scalable from two to 30 workstations, with the whole co-working space seating 2,500 people. The jewel is a two level hub connected by a sculptural spiral staircase designed for bringing the whole community together. Photography: Sui Sicong
Despite being a female-only members club, the Allbright in Mayfair keeps its ‘girly’ details to a minimum. With interiors designed by Suzy Hoodless, the space has been transformed from an old office with 1980’s-style drop ceilings to a bright and breezy co-working environment that has the working woman at the forefront of its mind. Colourful elements come in the form of Gubi Beetle chairs, while art from an all-female lineup has been specially curated by Beth Greenacre. As well as great spots to knuckle down and concentrate, the five-floor building impressively encompasses two roof terraces, a spa and salon, a fitness studio and an 80-seat restaurant. Photography: Paul Massey
InfiniteArea, Treviso, Italy
Zanon Architetti Associati and Squared Architects
Located in Montebelluna, Italy, at the heart of an industrial campus, this co-workring space has been designed as a ‘glocal’ office for innovation and new business opportunities. An abandoned factory was renovated and redesigned, and now boasts 150 desks, eight meeting rooms and an event space seating 200. Polished concrete flooring and timber, glass and metal dividers were contrasted with colourful office furniture. Green space surrounds the building and connects co-workers to the outdoors through floor-to-ceiling glazed exterior walls. Photography: Marco Zanta
Warszawski Ul, Warsaw
Taking inspiration from American period drama ‘Mad Men’, avant-garde design studio Beza Projekt has redesigned a co-working space in Warsaw with 1960s style. Situated inside a 1920s tenement house, the space hosts four private offices, a conference room and kitchen, completed with a bathroom and shower. Richly hued rosewood panels line the walls and are complimented by brushed gold accents, all enhanced with ambient lighting.
Through the hidden doors covered with veneer, a customised prussian blue kitchen features partially glazed walls to provide natural lighting, without compromising the privacy of the surrounding space. Semi-circular tables, mirrors and stools by Misa Form add a feeling of elegance to a somewhat mysterious-looking co-working space.
Beauty Shoppe Terminal Building, Pittsburgh
Co-working company Beauty Shoppe opens its eighth co-working space in Pittsburgh inside the Terminal Building, a historic spot in the Highline, a cargo warehouse redevelopment in the city. As well as work spaces, the 12,000 sq ft space also includes a series of maker studios, which have inspired the Bauhaus-themed design which features local craft pieces – such as the tapestries by the ‘Midnight Weaver’, artist Laura Gross, pictured here – and modernist furniture. The maker bays make this co-working space unique; activated through a partnership with a local craft business accelerator Monmade, they open up to the street and invite the community to look inside.
The in-house design team led by Morgan Stewart, Beauty Shoppe’s director of design, celebrates the original building with exposed brickwork and masonry. This characteristic canvas for co-workers is layered with locally sourced custom furniture including seating by Bones and All, and a concrete table by DJ Tokarcyzk of D.N.A Company. A public café named Astroid reflects the same design interest in Bauhaus – in both its design and menu, with locally handmade coffee mugs designed by Jenna Vanden Brink. Photography: Alexandra Ribar for Beauty Shoppe
Made by We, New York City
The We Company
Located in New York’s Flatiron neighbourhood, a new concept from the We Company named ‘Made by We’ offers WeWork style facilities with no membership required. Well-designed and covetable deskspaces and meeting rooms will be available to book or use on-demand. The team describe it as a ‘new town square’ that features a community driven retail space with products such as apparel, travel, and workday goods created by members of the We community with the aim to help small businesses. Soak up the energy of the co-working space at the Bluestone Lane café, open to locals and neighbourhood visitors alike. Photography: Dave Burk
Fora, Reading, UK
This is Fora’s fourth co-working space, located within Thames Tower in Reading. The modern interior spans three levels and was designed in collaboration with London based architects Piercy&Company. The concept is more akin to a hotel than a workspace, offering club style facilities for its users, wrapped in a calming, contemporary design in the architecture studio’s signature style.
The material palette includes Crittall style glazed partitions, bespoke fabric curtains, and solid timber flooring. ’We think about offices like internal landscapes, says Stuart Piercy, explaining the architects’ aim to create bespoke areas for distinct tasks within a coherent whole. Founded by hospitality-entrepreneur Enrico Sanna and The Big Chill festival co-founder Katrina Larkin, Fora is a company to watch. Photography: Jack Hobhouse
Meet in Place, New York City
Entrepreneur Yaron Kopel, and his business partner Michael Dorsman saw a gap in the market for affordable, flexible and low commitment meeting rooms and set up Meet in Place in 2016, launching a successful Tel Aviv space. The pair have made a clean landing in New York with their Nassau street space designed by NYC-based Float, a workplace design studio which has previously worked with the likes of Glossier, Casper and Food52.
Kopel and Dorsman wanted a design that would empower the professional: ‘Bright’,‘comfortable’and ‘functional’ were the design brief buzzwords. Float responded with a clean, minimal, yet friendly design with both a global mindset and a local touch; inspired by the clean lines of Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv, yet with all the texture of New York City. Light wood flooring and Scandinavian-inspired interior pieces, meet ergonomic chairs by Todd Bracher for Humanscale, lighting by Asaf Weinbroom and art curated by Niio, an art discovery platform. Photography: Tom Mannion
The Frames, London
Squire & Partners
Following up on their hugely succesful Department Store in Brixton, Squire & Partners have just unveiled their latest co-working offering in Shoreditch. This creative workspace focuses on small and creative businesses in the area and spans five storeys and some 7,500 sq m.
Alongside elegant, flexible desk areas, the building also includes shared meeting rooms, break-out areas, tea points, cycle storage, shower facilities and a café. Clad in brick, metal and glass, the design takes its cue from the wider South Shoreditch Conservation Area’s warehouse typology and aesthetic. Adding highly crafted details was key to the overall design quality, so for example there are bespoke twisted dark grey perforated aluminium fins at the top two floors of the building, polished concrete floors inside, as well as exposed soffits, corten-clad lift cores and a striking folded steel staircase. The complex also features a two storey bespoke artwork by renowned street artist Mr Jago. Writer: Ellie Stathaki. Photography: Jim Stephenson
The Wing, San Francisco
Alda Ly and Chiara de Rege
Architect Alda Ly and interior designer Chiara de Rege have created an upbeat and beautifully detailed space for The Wing’s first West Coast space in San Francisco. Women-focused and community-orientated, The Wing now tallies five spaces in total in the US. Located in the Financial District, set across the second floor of a late 19th-century French Beaux Arts-style building, The Wing has decorative interiors that complement the historic detailing of the original architecture, including a marble-topped pale oak reception desk and Sabine Marcelis’ resin Candy Cube coffee tables. New to the San Francisco edition is The Wing Cafe, that partners with local artisans and small businesses from cheesemakers to craft breweries with the aim to empower women in the Bay Area.
Thoughtful details champion women across the space. As well as a whole host of female designers – the rugs are sourced from Brooklyn-based, woman-owned Cold Picnic and Pieces – there are meeting rooms named after notable women, one in honour of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, an all-women art gallery and a library curated by The Strand Bookstore. Members can read books on feminist theory and contemporary women’s literature, as well as titles exploring San Francisco and a juicy coffee table collection for perusal from Rizzoli.
Making working life run all the more efficiently, there’s a mothers’ room wrapped with wallpaper from Maison C – owned by de Rege and partner Costanza Theodoli-Braschi – for ‘pumping in peace’, and a beauty room fully stocked with CHANEL products. In the main workspace, furnishings are from Italian designer Cristina Celestino, and LA -based Voila!, while sofas are covered in Raf Simons for Kvadrat fabric and the sconces are Atelier de Troupe. Photography: Tory Williams
Read more about The Wing’s female-focused concept here
The Nest, Warsaw
Blurring the line between work and play was the aim of the game for Warsaw-based studio Beza Projekt when they designed the interiors for The Nest. Through colour, materials and texture, the design embraces the flexibility of working in the creative industries, where a latte can turn into a business idea, or a cocktail into a pitch. Inspired by the atmosphere of a club, Beza Projekt created different functions for each of the six-floors of The Nest – varying from an event space, to a child-friendly zone, casual coffee bar and conference room. Two systems of bespoke furniture were designed to create two distinct styles of working for users; a group of tables and sofas combine to create soft islands with space for standing plants, while a set of desks, cabinets and bookcases refine space for solo focus.
Working within the architecture designed by Polish architects G5 Architekci, Beza Projekt chose a warm, rich palette to counterbalance the angular walls and windows. Custom materials contrasted colour with texture, including ceramic tiles, wallpapers, carpets and a coloured MDF combined with real veneer. Inspired by the Nest’s branding identity, a marbled texture designed by Kasia Korzeniecka was rolled out across levels over the structural columns of the space to create a continuous identity across The Nest.
Uncommon Fulham, London
The boutique co-working space Uncommon has opened a third space in Fulham. Each space has a focus on bringing plants, outdoor spaces, soft lighting and scents to the work place. Covering over 2,400 sq m the Fulham edition can be found a short walk from Parsons Green station. The next Uncommon space to open will be in the City of London.
A 3m high Ficus tree fills the corner of the informal café, lounge and hot desking space on one side of the four storey building. While the other side is designed to suit larger teams as a longer term home for businesses with space for teams of up to 150. Design highlights include a unique burnt oak wood table with bronze base designed bespoke for the space, Glo and Storm pendant lighting and the ‘Grillo chair’ by True Design.
Fora Borough, London
Fora and Hassell
Inspired by the energy of nearby Borough market, Fora’s latest co-working space designed in collaboration with Hassell brings 3,000sq m of co-working space to London, just south of the river. Guests arrive into a warm, colourful entrance designed with the marketplace in mind – there’s an opportunity to pick up a coffee, people watch while waiting for a client, or pull up a stool for an informal meeting. Full of materiality, the design features art on the walls, custom designed rugs, tactile seating areas and furniture by Danish designer Hans Wegner.
Fora was founded by The Big Chill festival co-founder Katrina Larkin and hospitality-entrepreneur Enrico Sanna, who wanted to create working spaces to improve productivity and enhance wellbeing. As well as purpose-built, flexible working spaces to camp out during the working week, Fora Borough also offers its members the Residents’ bar with roof terraces and Borealis, a Nordic inspired restaurant from Soren Jessen, of London dining spot 1 Lombard Street. Photography: Hufton & Crow
WeWork Champs-Élysées, Paris
The in-house design team at WeWork created a bright and colourful interior design at the Champs-Élysées location. Bright blue, electric sunshine yellows and vibrant burnt oranges were drawn from a palette inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech – the architecture, the foliage, pots and clay paving. Subtropical plant species are found across the flexible workspace helping to purify air and transport workers to Morocco. White perforated metal panelling patterned to reflect the carved stone can be found on decorative shutters and ornamental railings. While textiles such as upholstery and carpets also reflect patterns inspired by Morocco. Some areas in the space have chairs facing outwards to the windows and views across Paris – these areas also have no power outlets to encourage members to take a break, unplug, sit back and enjoy the city beyond.
Ministry of Sound, London
Squire & Partners
Ministry of Sound has grown up as London has grown up. The stalwart of the city’s nightlife scene is opening a new club this July – but it’s not what you might expect. The Ministry (a stone’s throw away from the original London Bridge venue which opened 25 years ago) will be a chic, shared working space-cum- private members club.
Designed by south London native, Squire and Partners (which operates out of nearby Brixton), The Ministry will feature an impressive (if gratuitous) 21m-bar spanning the entire ground floor. Other facilities include a full table service restaurant, immersive technology studio, 36-seater cinema, soundproof production suites and serviced meeting rooms where you can order lunch at the push of a button. Writer: Elly Parsons. Photography: James Jones
City Pavilion, London, UK
Nine Yard Club Design
Located in Cannon Green, right in the heart of the City of London, City Pavilion is the capital’s latest co-working offering. The venture combines workspace with a lifestyle approach – and is the first of its kind in the British capital’s famous Square Mile, created by dynamic design agency Nine Yard Club. The new spaces are offered in a fully renovated building, which now has a new glazed podium extension and a striking poured concrete staircase as a key centrepiece at its heart.
Nine Yard Club’s inspiration comes from old telephone exchanges, so key materials used are tactile timbers and textured surfaces, such as metal, in a modern and subtly luxurious utilitarian feel. The scheme comprises five floors of serviced office space, including hot-desking areas, private offices, and penthouse suites. The members will have access to a decidated lounge, as well as 3,000 sq ft of private rooftop garden. The building also features a Drake & Morgan bar and restaurant and a gym.
The Shop, New Orleans, US
A cutting-edge co-working space has opened across the 3rd and 4th floors of New Orleans’ 113-year-old Contemporary Arts Center building. The architects opened up over 3,700 sq m of space, revealing the original timber structure and maintaining the architectural history of the warehouse district in downtown New Orleans.
The Shop caters to creative co-workers across a mix of different sectors who have access to the 69 fully-furnished offices, seven conference rooms equipped with the latest technology and a range of amenities such as a roof deck with views across the city.
Social space for informal meetings with art on the walls to inspire stretches across 1,400 sq m of the co-working hotspot, crossing two floors as well as the roof deck. With its open plan, high ceilings and large windows The Shop crafts an airy and enjoyable working experience. Photography: Neil Alexander
WeWork Galaxy, Bengaluru, India
Co-working pioneer WeWork has announced its first flagship Indian location in Bengaluru, located on the site of the city’s historic Galaxy Theater. Working with the original building, the team’s main challenge was to open up the existing structure in order to enhance functionality and encourage communications between users.
The space features a generous rooftop terrace with a pool and gym, as well as the signature WeWork mix of hot desks and private offices. The workspaces have been designed around a striking five-storey communal atrium, pictured here. The WeWork design team worked with commonly used Indian materials, such as wood, steel and marble. These have been incorporated into each space to create the perfect balance between Indian character and luxury, and the contemporary WeWork aesthetic.
Writer: Ellie Stathaki. Photography: Mark Cocksedge
The Nest, London, UK
Gensler has created a brand new co-working hub for photography, film and TV production company Cherryduck Studios. Named The Nest, the project is situated in Wapping, East London. The venue spans some 8,000 sq ft and is pitched specifically at boutique production and post-production clients. Poised to fill a growing gap in the workspace market, The Nest was designed to offer a one-stop-shop that covers its clients’ needs.
Writer: Ellie Stathaki
Thomas House, London, UK
Newly completed by boutique architecture firm SODA, Thomas House is the latest co-working space by The Office Group, located in London’s Victoria. Spanning 6,650 sq m, the building is a renovated structure dating back to 1989. Named after prolific master builder Thomas Cubitt, the project was inspired by the area’s Georgian architecture, in terms of both proportions and interior refinement, such as the bespoke furniture and joinery featured throughout.
Fit for 21st century working, the scheme is equipped with both private office rooms and communal areas, as well as a range of amenities for the users; there’s a gym, large bar, outdoors areas and wellbeing features, such as a library, music room, games area and meditation space.
Photography: Gareth Gardner. Writer: Ellie Stathaki
Ampla House, Ghent, Belgium
Housed in a former patrician’s residence alongside a canal that connects the river Leie to the canal Ghent-Bruges, Ampla House is the Flemish city’s first state-of-the-art collaborative workspace with an individual design outlook. Valerie Vanermen (one half of the Belgian accessories brand Marvais) received carte blanche from the project’s founders, and applied her signature sense of colour to the custom-made desk chairs, desks and overall interior design by combining unusual and rich hues to create a homely and serene environment.
An original classicist marble stairway is the axis around which flex desks, shared desks, private studies, meeting rooms, food corners and a library can be found, spread over three floors. With a bistro overlooking the city garden, a fitness space, showers and inhouse events, Ampla House takes seriously its inspirational mission to provide a 360° hospitality service for its members.
Photography: Frederik Vercruysse. Writer: Siska Lyssens
The Bureau, Paris, France
A sophisticated hub of shared coworking spaces and design-led closed offices, The Bureau sets out to meld the superlative business centre facilities, a boutiquey hotel atmosphere and the convivial, community-driven quality of a shared workspace.
The 30,000 sq ft Parisian space is housed in a striking art deco pile overlooking the Seine on Cours Albert 1er, and was designed by the French interior architecture and design agency Atelier MKD (headed up by Marika Dru) and lifestyle/interior design tastemakers The Socialite Family.
In addition to the coworking and private office areas, The Bureau boats a range of communal meeting rooms (from the sizable seminar-ready Conference Room, to the deep red, power-luxe Deal Room, complete with champagne button) a slick midcentury modern-styled café and a well-appointed gym for blowing off steam.
Photography: The Socialite Family. Writer: Tom Howells
Mortimer House, London, UK
In a six-storey Art Deco corner building in Fitzrovia, hotel-style hospitality has been combined with a clubby, domestic aesthetic and office facilities at Maslow’s Mortimer House. Its founder, Guy Ivesha, eschews the terms coworking and flexible working. Instead, he says: ‘We are all about harmony between working life, social life and life in general.’
Interior design firm AvroKO was tasked with translating 20th-century psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into an environmental space. The ground floor caters to the ‘physiological needs’ of the individual through Mortimer House Kitchen, a chic restaurant open to members and the public, whereas the following ‘social belonging’ level constitutes the four members’ coworking floors.
As well as adding some flair and warmth to the spaces, the designers set about ‘stripping things back and exposing (original features) and being happy and proud of the existing terracotta ceilings and mouldings’, says Adam Farmerie, principal of AvroKO. Ivesha, who is backed by investment from financiers Cain International, is already eying up a second site in London’s West End, which is also likely to be an AvroKO project.
Photography: Ed Reeve. Writer: Clare Dowdy
Second Home, Holland Park, London
Second Home’s second London location marks SelgasCano’s fifth collaboration with the innovative co-working space brand. The Spanish architecture studio’s high-energy and holistic design continues the colourful, biophilic aesthetic set across other Second Home locations, yet at Holland Park the mindful restoration of existing architecture by SelgasCano also brings with it a unique cultural heritage that will no doubt inspire a brand new blossoming of fresh entrepreneurs across the creative industries.
The five different buildings that have been combined to make up Second Home Holland Park have lead a fascinating former life, serving as the studio of British fashion photographer John Cowan in the 1960s, a film location for Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up in 1966 and then as the London office for architect Richard Rogers. SelgasCano adapted the design for its new life by opening up roof lights to bring in copious amounts of natural light, adding colour and texture through new roof surfaces and injecting innovative greenhouse technologies into the design.
Second Home’s west London location differs from the east London outpost in offering a more intimate environment for co-workers, featuring meeting rooms aimed at smaller teams of up to eight people, as well as a restored art photography studio on the top floor of the building. The friendly and warm space is defined by its biophilic design, a theme set by SelgasCano across other Second Home locations, which is championed by the 35 trees planted directly into the floors and the layering of freestanding plants and climbing vines.
48-49 Princes Pl, London W11 4QA
Photography: Iwan Baan. Writer: Harriet Thorpe
Nomad Workspace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Housed in a former courthouse, originally designed by famed Danish architect Thorvald Bindesbøll and dating back to 1863, Nomad Workspace is a recently restored co-working environment for creative nomads. Aptly nestled in the heart of Copenhagen’s multicultural Nørrebro district, the 1,500 square metre space was founded by entrepreneur Oliver Bernhard and clothing brand founder Peter Madsen with the intent to house small businesses. The duo tasked interior designer Natalia Sanchez of Spatial Code to transform the expanse into a kaleidoscopic world that draws influences from the world over, including Barcelona, New York and London – places Sanchez has called home herself.
Spanning over two-storeys and combining full-service office rooms (seating up to 195 people) with a café and art displays, the expressive interiors meld a confident colour palette and patterns to create an inspiring working environment. Mixing vintage pieces with bespoke items designed by Sanchez herself, most notably a HAY sofa she upholstered in a sumptuous velvet fabric, exclusively made for her by Kvadrat, the interiors pay homage to its past and reflect the passage of time.
Meanwhile, walls are adorned by pieces from artists including Justin Morin, Magni Borgehed and James Viscardi, delivered by Last Resort Gallery, while a café serves up coffee from local roaster Risteriet. Hoping to form a place that would express its own personality, arouse curiosity yet still feel familiar for those visiting, Nomad Workspace is a showcase of nomadic beauty defying categorisation. Blegdamsvej 6, 2200 Copenhagen. Writer: Jessica-Christin Hametner
Uncommon, London, UK
With more in common to a stylish spa than a standard workplace, Uncommon is owned and operated by husband and wife team Tania and Gal Adir and pushes the idea of wellbeing at work. Tania has handled the interiors for the seven levels, with much of the furniture coming from Polish brand Nowy Styl. As well as the tranquil colour palette, and the ability to open all the windows, there are hundreds of indoor plants, and different music and scents have been programmed for different areas. The workspaces – open plan and offices, along with some quiet corners – are supplemented by a ground floor coffee shop and a roof terrace. In total, this Uncommon comprises 25,000sq ft over seven levels. Borough follows Uncommon’s first site in Highbury, north London, and will be followed by another in Fulham, south-west London next summer. ’The design will be different in every location,’ says Tania. The young couple are funding the expansion courtesy of private equity firm Carlyle Group, which is investing more than £150m into the Uncommon brand. Writer: Clare Dowdy
The New Work Project, New York, USA
The New Design Project
With new spaces opening every few months, the co-working office trend is far from over. In fact, it’s almost as ubiquitous as a fluorescent light-drenched cubicle. Changing the game, however, is The New Work Project. Founded by James Davison and Fanny Abbes, the husband-wife duo behind interior design firm The New Design Project, this private membership space is designed with creativity in mind. ‘We wanted to create somewhere that attracted like-minded people who were naturally drawn to working together,’ Davison said. ‘A place our members [feel] an emotional, visceral attachment to.’
Just under 3,500 sq ft, the Williamsburg space caters to freelancers, solopreneurs and small teams in creative industries. With four phone booths, two conference rooms, four studios, and several gallery desks, you won’t be crammed for office space. The duo prioritises hospitality and service, claiming they want The New Work Project to feel more like a second home. ‘We want people to use it not just as a place for business meetings, but for product launches and socialising,’ said Davison. Davison and Abbes drew from their personal aesthetics to create a space that feels more like a cool clubhouse. Textured pieces like a crushed velvet sofa and marble counter add life to their black and white palette, while the geometric brass lights offer a hint of colour.
While the space features pieces inspired by the designs of Pierre Jeanneret, Friso Kramer, Jaime Hayon and Resident Studio, the couple also enlisted local Brooklyn designers to create custom pieces. Brushstroke murals from Eskayel cover the conference rooms, and its breakout and coffee tables come courtesy of JM Szymanski. Davison and Abbes put themselves to work by designing the gallery desks, communal table, and conference tables, the latter two made with black-stained walnut and brass. Certainly, it’s somewhere you’ll want to be after hours, too.
97 N 10th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Writer: Kelsey Mulvey
Hermann’s, Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Completed: June 2017
In a former East Berlin block, London-based architecture and design studio Freehaus have designed a co-working space for food innovation. Working alongside German food company Bahlsen, the team at Freehaus created a versatile, pastel-toned and plant-filled working environment with a range of different spaces equipped for food innovation, gastronomic demonstrations, audio and visual production, co-working and pop-up events.
Initially intended as a space for Bahlsen to test products, the concept for Hermann’s grew into a broader purpose to serve the public, the local food production community and to provide a place to discuss contemporary food issues. Freehaus explored the 125-year-old archive of the family-run food company, finding inspiration in the curiosity of the founder who was fascinated by topics from Egyptology, to mathematics and art.
Freehaus expressed the multiple functions of Hermann’s through designing adaptable spaces and reconfigurable furniture. A central ‘greenhaus’ provides a meeting room for workers, while maintaining connections to the activity in the space and solid oak tables integrated with power supply can be separated to be used for an events reception desk, pop-up stall or smoothly joined to make a boardroom style meeting table. Torstrasse 118, 10119 Berlin Photography: Adam Luszniak. Writer: Harriet Thorpe
Palmspace, Hackney Downs Studios, London, UK
Hackney Downs Studios
Located in a converted print factory in East London called Hackney Downs Studios, this co-working space is designed to meet the needs of creative artists and makers. Members perks include a programme of monthly workshops and drop-ins, and a leafy private garden, central for the designers to creating a fertile environment for creative growth. The space was designed by the Hackney Downs Studio in-house team, headed up by project manager, Alfie Lay, with designer Robbie Thompson, who designed and crafted the units and interior layout using materials such as steel treated with beeswax and copper coated weld mesh.
Palmspace is pioneering the concept of ‘co-making’, which encourages makers to collaborate and share ideas. Spaces are therefore versatile, hard-wearing and adaptable – work surfaces are made of parquet flooring reclaimed from schools across London. Managed by creative spaces company Eat Work Art, Palmspace is the newest addition to a network of work spaces across London that make use of previously abandoned sites such as Netil House in London Fields and Old Paradise Yard in Lambeth.
Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT
Photography: Andy Donohoe. Writer: Harriet Thorpe
Fosbury & Sons, WATT-tower, Antwerp, Belgium
Fosbury & Sons has taken up residence on the first floor of the WATT-tower in Antwerp, a building by modernist architect Léon Stynen. The 3000 sq m space is supported by concrete columns and provides a means for a great variety of professionals to come together. Company founders Stijn Geeraets and Maarten Van Gool wanted to tailor the space to the needs of our generation, enabling a new and effective way of working.
Membership to the workspace grants access to a professional office as well as comfortable sitting areas, the services of a hotel and free time activities such as a pool table. By encompassing all of these elements, Fosbury & Sons hope to raise their customers’ quality of life during and after work.
The generous space overlooks King Albert park and also includes seated areas, large tables, a library of books handpicked to broaden and inspire, showers and a laundry service. Coffeelabs opened its second branch here and serves an assortment of healthy food along with a daily dose of caffeine. Noise-suppressing headphones by Sennheiser are available for those who appreciate total silence while at work.
Mechelsesteenweg 271, 2018 Antwerp
Writer: Phoebe Jayes. Photography: Frederik Vercruysse
WeWork, Waterhouse Square, London, UK
WeWork’s latest co-working space has opened in London. Located near Leather Lane, it has been designed by an in-house team, who looked to the setting – where Charles Dickens is rumoured to have lived – for inspiration. The team marketed this rumour to its advantage, giving the space a literary edge with interior touches such as leather furniture. Another inspiration was the theme of ‘team sports’. The designers decorated the walls ofthe upper floor communal areas with reclaimed rowing oars and used punts from Cambridge. Next for WeWork is an outpost in Paris. 138 Holborn, London, EC1N 2SW, UK
Oficinas Guateque, Mexico City, Mexico
Designer: Estudio Atemporal
Completed: July 2016
An industrial building in the increasingly commercial Anahuac district of Mexico City has been converted by Estudio Atemporal into a co-working space. The architects stripped back the interior of the building – which stretches a whole block and was previously a light factory – segmenting the space into a versatile environment flexible for different styles of working. Aluminium and glass partitions, as well as natural dividers such as plants and furniture, allow the space to feel either open-plan or private. One half of the office is a high-ceilinged workshop with a sawtooth roof; the other side sees three levels of more traditional style working facilities.
An overhanging terrace space offers smaller office areas, which connect with a central zone for informal working and meeting. The raw textures of the original concrete columns and exposed cinder block walls of the factory are key to the design, creating a relaxed architectural style. The project was headed up by designers Paul Curuchet and Luciana De la Garza of Estudio Atemporal, a young multi-disciplinary practice founded in 2011 in Mexico City. With other commercial projects such as retail and restaurant in its portfolio, the studio looks to combine architecture and interior design – defining space and communicating its uses. Lago Xochimilco #135, Colonia Anáhuac, CP 11320 Del Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico
Writer: Harriet Thorpe
Canopy, San Francisco, USA
Yves Béhar and Amir Mortazavi
Frustrated with the idea of commuting to a business park or downtown to an office, Yves Béhar, Amir Mortazavi and Steve Mohebi decided to revolutionise the workspace with Canopy, a co-working hub located right in the heart of Pacific Heights on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street. Elevated and refined, Canopy will have a sophisticated membership program and concierge-style amenities.
‘Canopy is designed as a pioneering space, where classic radical designs of the 1970s such as Joe Colombo, Don Chadwick and Alexander Girard are mixed with today’s most collaborative and ergonomic furniture from Herman Miller, Flos, Tylko and others,’ says Behar. ‘In conceiving the space with Amir Mortazavi, we were intent on designing inspirational moments in the space, such as the lounge or kitchen, and also bringing together an eclectic mix of classic and current designs that are high concept and high quality.’
Photography: Joe Fletcher
Central Working, London, UK
Incorporated in previously ‘dead’ space within the atrium of 2 Kingdom Street, Central Working recently opened a new club, with start-up accelerator Techstars and the Mayor of London’s promotional company both taking spaces in the new facility. Building on the company’s previous hubs around London, this one not only invites growing businesses to work side-by-side with global businesses, but is also a new development for West London as it appeals to the local entrepreneurial scene. Now, the building’s lobby – previously ’wasted space’ occupied solely by a reception desk – buzzes with activity as hundreds of companies work alongside each other. With commercial rents in the area rising – Paddington’s position on the incoming Crossrail line and transport links to Heathrow have led to the area becoming one of the hottest destinations for tech businesses – Central Working demonstrates the potential of transforming a previously forgotten space into a thriving, beautiful office environment.
Central Working Paddington’s opening coincides with the announcement that Central Working City, also launched in partnership with British Land, will be expanding to five floors, providing London’s growing business community with a larger footprint in the Square Mile. James Layfield, CEO of Central Working, says: ’This area of London, shaped by British Land and operated by Central Working, provides a vibrant mix of big corporates and entrepreneurs to drive innovation and business growth. With two leading Tech City influencers now in residence, Central Working Paddington will help the capital’s booming tech scene spread out from the Silicon Roundabout and truly flourish in West London’
Central Parade, London, UK
Gort Scott Architects
Last year, following the neighbourhood’s transformation into one of the capital’s most desirable areas – with a blossoming creative community to match – the London Borough of Waltham Forest commissioned the refurbishment of the Central Parade with funding help from the GLA. Opened this summer, the project has seen the former 1960s office building reborn as a new cultural and creative enterprise hub designed by young architectural practice Gort Scott. Open for two years while the long-term future of the site is decided upon, the Central Parade is now home to 650 sq m of retail and co-working spaces with meeting rooms, flexible event and exhibition space, small ‘maker’ shops available for those who wish to pilot new products or services, and studio units for up to 50 independent creative businesses.
‘We stripped back the linings of the outdated council one-stop shop; the lowered ceilings, carpets, partitioned desks etc, to create a generous, robust hall-like space,’ says Jay Gort, director of Gort Scott, who also developed a range of bespoke furniture for the project. ‘Simultaneously, we ensured that the façades of this landmark building were sensitively updated to re-establish the building’s positive contribution to the streetscape. We worked closely with graphic designers Polimekanos to develop a graphic identity for the project, which was inspired by the original decorative façade tiles.’
While Gort Scott has previously completed a number of projects in Waltham Forest – two separate urban design frameworks for Blackhorse Lane and the town centre, the regeneration of Wood Street Indoor Market and a strategy for public realm interventions in the Blackhorse Lane area – the borough has a number of new projects in the works as part of its continued regeneration. These include a new Creative Industries Zone and a Housing Zone in Blackhorse Lane, and the redevelopment of St James Street. Church Hill, Walthamstow, London, E17. Writer: Ali Morris. Photography: Dirk Lindner
The Great Room, Singapore
Together with two other partners, owner Jaelle Ang’s recent launch of The Great Room, Singapore’s newest generation of flexible hot-desks, offices and meeting rooms, is a response to this new work paradigm. The idea for The Great Room came about because between a-third-to-half of all workers today are flexible and mobile says Ang. ’Increasingly, workers and companies are realising they need to use a wide range and typology of work spaces to accommodate this increasingly diverse workforce and the different expectations of what work is, and where and when that work should happen. The best performers are measured by the value they bring into the business, and this value is no longer created by sitting for 40 hours in a traditional fixed office in front of the desktop.’
This translates into a studio that multi-tasks as a meeting room for 12, workshop space for 20, and presentation room for 30, and which, on Tuesday evenings, becomes a yoga studio; dedicated offices kitted-out in okoume timber desks, leather chairs and storage shelves finished in brass; a boardroom with reception area; unobtrusive rows of lockers; bathrooms with shower facilities; private phone booths; and kitchen.
Where The Great Room departs from the flatness of the ubiquitous serviced office comes courtesy of the designers’ bent for warm, handsome furnishings that have a very human quality. Full advantage is taken of the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around the space and bring in both light and views of Singapore’s CBD skyscrapers. Against this, the designers have layered handsome coffee table books on art and architecture, customised wall art, leather sofas, bell-jars of objets trouvés, plush velvets and fabric, stained timber floors and Tappeti rugs. 1 George Street, #10-01, Singapore. Writer: Daven Wu
Kwerk, Paris, France
Congo-born architect Albert Angel and Franco-British entrepreneur Lawrence Knights have created Kwerk – a 24/7 co-working space in the centre of Paris. ‘How we work has evolved beyond recognition,’ says Angel. ‘Isolation is the enemy of creativity. We wanted to favour interactivity by creating a space with a collective consciousness.’ 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.
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 and includes a yoga 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. 44 – 46 rue de la Bienfaisance, Paris 75008. Writer: Jean Grogan. Photography: Benoit Florençon
Spring Place, New York, USA
It’s hard to imagine life without Spring Place New York. Since opening its doors last September, the mammoth photographic studios, which occupy a former Verizon building in Tribeca, have since become a regular home to fashion shows, the Independent art fair, the Tribeca Film Festival and countless other photo shoots and events for brands across the gamut. In June, the multidisciplinary space quietly unveiled the next phase of its overarching concept: a collaborative workspace and social membership club that promises to turn the entire venue into an innovative cultural hub.
The co-working/member’s club concept goes beyond just offering stylish work environs in an enviable zipcode. Spring Place does one better by providing a world-class concierge service (one recent coup includes procuring tickets for the musical Hamilton at short notice), production and editing suites, a reference library, private catering and tech support at the ready to overcome any problems. Together with beautifully designed boardrooms, executive suites, temporary showrooms and insulated conference call booths all spread over an entire floor of the building, Spring Place offers a forward-thinking selection of amenities in one very pretty package.
Of course, it’s no good to just focus on work. On a separate floor, Spring Place also operates an all-day dining restaurant, bar and lounge, which in turn comes with two private dining rooms for more reserved situations. A glamorous, sunken living room and a cosy, den-like music room (pictured) are available for performances, receptions, workshops, guest speakers and more. And the aspirations won’t just stop there – locations in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, London, Paris and Milan are all looming on the horizon. 6 St John’s Lane, New York, NY 10013. Writer: Pei-Ru Keh. Photography: Adrian Gaut
Atrium, London UK
Once regarded as London’s epicentre of alternative fashion and music, Camden Town is hoping to form a new alliance with the capital’s business communities with the addition of Interchange’s new flagship space, the Atrium.
Situated in the heart of Camden Stables – and the third property in the firm’s portfolio of co-working office locations – the Atrium was designed by Barr Gazetas Architects, with interiors courtesy of Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. It seems that co-op working spaces quickly became the answer for flourishing businesses trying to find their feet, providing a desk, facilities and a network to nurture growth and innovation. But these co-working communities soon evolved and have now become pivotal hubs for even fully-fledged businesses wanting the flexibility and benefits that come with a shared office environment.
‘Since the opening of our first Camden-based coworking space, Triangle, at the end of last year, Interchange has experienced high demand from both new and more established businesses and has had some fantastic tenants move in across a variety of sectors, including retail, healthcare, fintech and design,’ explains Vanessa Butz, Interchange’s managing director, reflecting on the Atrium’s promising future. The new 84,000 sq ft complex offers up a wide range of facilities spread over four floors, with space intended to initiate communal productivity with its intricately designed floor plan and interior layout. Outfitted with Dixon’s furnishings and fixtures, the Atrium includes an on-site restaurant and bar, vertical gardens, numerous roof terraces and a variety of relaxation areas to cater to its 600 work stations.
NeueHouse, Los Angeles, USA
When NeueHouse first opened in New York in September 2013, it effortlessly spun the co-working space archetype on its head. Armed with elegant interiors courtesy of Rockwell Group, custom-designed office furniture, an in-house restaurant, broadcasting studio and a host of special programming, the community-oriented workspace seems more like a member’s club than an office. In addition to preserving period features, such as original staircases and elevator dials, the two firms added white marble accents and board-formed concrete walls to break up the austere space. Moroccan rugs, which are strewn casually, reference the way modernist architects furnished and added warmth to their homes.
On the higher floors, beautifully composed office studio spaces are peppered with lounge areas and views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown LA. On the second floor, a library lounge decorated with vitrines filled with studio artifacts opens on to a sprawling terrace, where cabanas offer another work environment while making full use of the Californian climate. There’s yet another terrace on the third floor, best suited for hosting events. 6121 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90028. Writer: Pei-Ru Keh. Photography: Emily Andrew
Soho Works, London, UK
Soho House & Co
It’s a key locus of the new freelance creative economy and, always sharp on the uptake, the Soho House group has now opened a new co-working concept, Soho Works. The group took vacant space in the Tea Building, home to Shoreditch House, a couple of years ago without any definite plans for it. When more space came up, a total of 16,000 sq ft, it decided to create a proper fully-serviced working environment for the modern mobile creative and for those looking for more permanent space.
Walk in on an average week day and, from bar through ping-pong tables-turned-work stations, through the restaurant and into the back lounge, everywhere there is the steely grey of opened laptops (always, but always, Macbooks), shoulders hunched, fingers tapping and faces gently uplit by screens.
Membership options include hot-desking, a permanent desk place or even a permanent office space for up to ten (though the single person offices, complete with hat stand, looks particularly tempting). There are also meeting rooms, a library, a lounge and cafe, as a well as a kitchen for those who want to prepare their own food, printers, a photo-studio, post-production facilities, a fully tooled-up workshop if you fancy getting handy, 3D printers, retro phone booths for intimate or professional phone conversations as well as high-speed internet access, tech support, postage and couriers. And all open 24/7. It also offers a series of professionally minded talks and one-to-one appointments with ‘industry experts’.
A 24,000 sq ft Istanbul branch of Soho Works will open in five converted town houses in the Akaretler district next spring, while a 22,000 sq ft LA branch will open in a mid-century office building on Sunset Boulevard soon after. The group is also set to open a 40,000 sq ft Soho Works in Clerkenwell, complete with gym, cutting and screening rooms, in spring 2017 – with a similar-sized space, featuring a rooftop bar and restaurant, planned in the Fulton Market District of Chicago later that year. It is also looking for other London locations, as well as a space in Manchester and far beyond. Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ. Writer: Nick Compton