The rise of remote work and the gig economy has led to the proliferation of coworking spaces worldwide. These spaces offer mobile workers and small companies alike reliable internet, desk space, meeting rooms and the opportunity to share ideas (as well as a roof) at a fraction of the cost of traditional, dedicated office spaces.
There are currently 18,000 coworking spaces globally and the number is predicted to reach 30,000 by 2022 *(Global Co Working Conference). The growth has been exponential and global. Housing every type of worker from freelancers to startup companies across every imaginable industry, coworking spaces are an innovative way of celebrating and serving the different ways we work. They offer greater workplace flexibility and agility which is more and more attractive to companies, employees and independent workers alike.
The exponential growth in coworking membership numbers (5.5 million predicted by 2022) is changing the look and feel of these environments. New spaces tend to be much larger than older ones to accommodate this growth and operators are finding new ways to serve more members per square foot of space. In addition, there’s also been a proliferation of niche spaces. Though big companies like WeWork and MindSpace grab most of our attention, smaller operators that appeal to specialized interests or needs (shared kitchens, child care, industry specific) are also making their mark and attracting people who might not join a traditional coworking space.
What we at LIV are most excited about is the prevalence of design forward thinking evident in many of these spaces. Drawing inspiration from homes, luxurious hotels, hip bars and exclusive clubs, many bare very little resemblance to traditional offices – thankfully.
Below we feature a few beautiful coworking spaces from around the world that incorporate thoughtful design creating environments that are sure to inspire ideas and productivity.
Belgian design firm Going East have created one of the most spectacular live work spaces in the world. The interiors of their second location in Brussels (first was Antwerp) are truly impressive. Located in a 70’s modernist, former cement company building close to a forest, Fosbury and Sons’ ‘Boitsfort’ space occupies over 75000 sq ft and is spread over 7 floors. Recognizing that people work in different ways, this space offers a variety of options. The lobby with bar on the ground floor is a sumptuous space to work or hold meetings while the suites (private office spaces) and ateliers (shared private office spaces) offer more private space if you prefer solitude for productivity. Boitsfort has a capacity of 600 people and 250 different companies.
Location: Barcelona (Urquinaona location)
Cloudworks coworking network has opened a new venue in Barcelona designed by architectural studio Mesura. The place offers a variety of comfortable private spaces where members can work alone, concentrate and focus as well as open spaces to collaborate, socialize and seek inspiration. Mesura used wood and dark colours for the private work areas and bright colours in the communal spaces. Verdant plants accent the interiors, adding biophilic charm to the space and helping to reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought . This location also features a roof top terrace with beautiful views of the city and surrounding hills available for private events as well as everyday use.
Close to home, Werklab is located in a heritage property in Vancouver’s historic Strathcona neighbourhood. Occupying over 8000 sq. feet, this brick and beam building emphasizes wellness as well as work. Divided into a café, work area and a zen area hosting yoga and meditation classes, Werklab features custom designed furniture including the reception desk, café’s banquette and steel boardroom tables. They live side by side Herman Miller office chairs, Article pendant lamps and Blue dot chairs. Plants and artwork by Yuli Glass help add to the light, soothing environment.
Location: San Francisco (Jackson Square)
San Francisco-based Swiss Designer Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject, teamed up with M-Project’s, Amir Mortazavi and Steve Mohebi to create Canopy’s second coworking space in the Bay area. This Jackson Square space is an exemplary blend of design and technology – apropos for this tech driven community. The 13,000 sq. ft. space features glass enclosures that form private offices on one side, while an open-plan area with desks and a cafe are located on the other – ideal for collaboration. One of the key features here is the spectacular outdoor terrace with impressive views of the San Francisco skyline – the perfect place to stimulate ideas or clear your mind.
Location: Los Angeles area (Silver Lake, Santa Monica)
Let’s face it, the work reality for many new parents can be challenging. Childcare arrangements can be difficult and oftentimes, freelancing is the best way to get back into the workforce. Big and Tiny is a coworking space that considers these factors. In fact, this is the first coworking space in North America that offers in-house childcare. With two locations around L.A, these coworking spaces feature great design for workers and beautiful play areas with swings, wooden toys and ball pits for kids. Visiting a Big and Tiny offers everyone, especially new parents, an opportunity to get some work done. This is especially helpful when re-integrating into the work place. Oftentimes parents start part time or on contract and finding sporadic childcare can be even more challenging than securing full time care so Big and Tiny is the perfect solution. And knowing your kids are nearby and having fun is sure to provide peace of mind and boost to productivity. The space also hosts and plans on-site birthday parties for your little ones!
Check out our closer look at WeWork co-working spaces in our Brand Spotlight: WeWork.