An established trend in the creative world and beyond, coworking is predicated on the idea that sharing space can offer both financial and productivity benefits. As demonstrated by Bjarke Ingels’ heavy involvement in WeWork, and the vibrant, dynamic workspaces created by Second Home, architecture and design play a heavy role in the effective design of coworking spaces.
While typical coworking spaces are either purpose-built or repurposed office spaces, there are many examples of unusual architectural typologies which have been repurposed to serve as spaces of collaboration and work. From churches to shipping containers, the novel appropriation of these spaces can be advantageous from many angles, be it creating a unique identity for a business, or reactivating derelict or underused areas of cities.
In contrast to the slick, corporate environments of typical coworking spaces, many churches are trying their hand at coworking with homely, low-cost offerings. As described by The Guardian, Lutheran churches in Manhattan to Jewish communities in Brooklyn are reinvigorating religious structures at a time when a growing number of people are abandoning religious traditions. In this context, coworking offers one possibility for keeping religious typologies active, and financially viable.
Companies such as Roam are using hotels are the basis for participating in the coworking, co-living trend. For $1800 per month, members gain access to Roam’s global network of bases, such as "Outpost," a contemporary hotel in Bali with rooftop workspace, and a courtyard pool. The company also took the oldest continuously-operating hotel in the city of Miami and repurposed it to create live/workspace. Learn more from our previous coverage here.
Shipping containers have often been repurposed for creative purposes by architects, and Lisbon-based Village Underground offers the latest iteration. Their coworking hub is made from shipping containers and double-decker buses recycled into office spaces, a recording studio, a restaurant, and a conference room. Aside from coworking, space also hosts events such as music festivals, street art, and skateboarding.
Situated in the landmark CBS Radio Building in Hollywood is NeueHouse. Seven stories of working spaces are housed in studios which once hosted famous faces, and voices, from Orson Welles to Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash. Catering mostly to creatives in film, design, and architecture, the facility includes two outdoor decks for collaboration and relaxing, while interior spaces range from dramatic soaring performance halls to gently-divided conference areas with exposed services.