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Coworking Spaces: Today Design and Amenities Take Center Stage

There are approximately 10,000 coworking spaces worldwide, yet new coworking companies are constantly making their way onto the map. In order to be successful and differentiate their spaces from the masses, many coworking companies are leveraging innovative workplace design and a unique menu of amenities to target a more niche consumer base.

Coworking initially began as an alternative to the traditional workplaces, a dedicated office, home office or coffee shop, and evolved for start-ups who couldn’t afford to jump into high overhead costs. One of the main reasons coworking has been, and continues to be, so successful is because mainstream coworking companies such as WeWork don’t just offer workers a desk to work at—they offer amenities and create a community of like-minded business people and entrepreneurs.

In order to build and foster these communities, coworking spaces are incorporating communal spaces and specifically tailored amenities that cater to their clientele and help to build their intended environments. The concept of coworking has moved from a “one-size-fits-all” model and expanded into a practice for varying types of workers and companies.

For the fashion, media, art and film enthusiasts, Neuehouse is a beautifully designed coworking company with locations in New York and Los Angeles, exhibiting high-design surroundings and social club feel. Specifically, their LA location was carefully designed by David Rockwell and according to Co.Design is the “ne plus ultra of coworking spaces that’ll appeal especially to people who highly value design and architecture.”To attract their high-fashion and art demographic, the membership offerings include access to cultural programming, live music and intimate dinners with thought leaders, in addition to the traditional communal/private workspace options.

Similarly, fashionistas are drawn to the unique coworking offerings of Spring Place where coworking meets social club. The venue offers private and shared workspaces, conference rooms, dining rooms, a restaurant, outdoor spaces and lounges for members to relax and entertain. The TriBeCa building also shares its space with sister organization, Spring Studios, where members have access to a 140,000 studio location for shoots, casting and events. Clients are immersed in a cultural hub that includes large fashion and arts events such as the Tribeca Film Festival, Independent Art Fair and New York Fashion Week.

The coworking company, Primary, uses fitness amenities to target yoga enthusiasts. Members have access to a fitness studio, changing rooms with showers, coffee bar and daily fitness, motivational and professional development classes. The space was carefully designed to create a place of focus and comfort. Greenery such as moss walls, fresh flowers and live planters are used throughout the space to provide a Zen-like atmosphere.

Other fitness enthusiasts are drawn to the Brooklyn Boulders space located at the top of a 22-foot-high climbing wall. The office features stand-up desks with built-in pull-up bars and balance ball seats. In addition to the climbing wall, members have access to daily yoga and fitness classes, extensive fitness equipment, personal training, saunas, showers and locker rooms.

In a different vein, business women looking for an elegant and feminine space to set up shop are attracted to the chic design of the female-only space, The Wing. Designed by Leong Leong with interiors by Chiara de Rege and Hilary Koyfman of CDR&Co, The Wing offers a light, airy and feminine space with a dusty rose color palette. Similarly, The Wing offers a variety of female targeted amenity options including on-demand blowouts, a lactation room and vanities stocked with beauty products. They also have a variety of events and programs—including a book club, clothing swap, poker and poetry night—for members to interact with each other and network.

Another coworking space where design is the primary draw is Bond Collective, the premiere hospitality-driven shared workspaces collective. Bond Collective employs a hospitality-centric approach through curated spaces focused on high design and comfort. Designed by Spector Group, their 55 Broadway location features an easily transformable event space that can accommodate up to 350 guests. The green wall, oversized chandeliers and high ceilings add to the elegant ambiance of the versatile space. Amenities include curated events such as panels, workshops and parties, networking events, pet friendly offices, lactation rooms, unlimited beer and coffee and membership discounts to a variety of other services.Bond Collective caters to clients who are looking for comfortable, home-like spaces that enhance their brand and allow them to focus on their core business.

Entrepreneurs and small companies are drawn to the thoughtfully designed coworking space, The Yard.  This luxury office space features furnished offices, state of the art conference rooms, event spaces, members-only lounges and custom artwork. Members are offered a variety of coworking options including private offices, dedicated desks, open coworking spaces and virtual memberships making this a great option for both small companies who want more than a coworking space but less than a full office to themselves as well as entrepreneurs who are looking for a space to work and socialize. In addition to the standard amenities, The Yard, also, has a partnership program that provides clients with a variety of benefits and discounts from partnering companies.

Outside of Manhattan, located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a former shipbuilding complex has been transformed into an unusual workplace. Developed by Macro Sea and designed by Marvel Architects, New Lab has a 1970s high-tech modernist feel, which is fitting for their clients who primarily consist of engineers. This space attracts engineers working in emerging technologies including robotics, artificial intelligence and connected devises. Members enjoy access to prototyping shops, conference rooms, lounges, digital manufacturing tools, events, programming events and a network of like-minded professionals.

While some spaces use design as a primary attraction for clients, at other spaces, the highly curated design is just an added bonus. Such is the case for Spacious, a unique coworking concept that transforms beautifully designed restaurants—that are only open for dinner shifts—into coworking spaces during daytime hours. Clients get to work in an elegantly designed venue at one of Manhattan’s hottest restaurants including Michelin star restaurant La Sirena, L’Apicio, DBGB Kitchen & Bar, MP Taverna, and Public. While the design is intended for the restaurant itself, Spacious takes advantage of this perk by finding a secondary use for these thoughtfully created spaces. This concept attracts workers who are looking for the basic coworking needs of space and Wi-Fi within a beautifully designed venue, but who don’t want to be tied down to a specific locale. Additionally, it attracts clients who want to be able to tout the well-known restaurant names as a place for their meetings.

Private clubs are also joining the coworking movement. For instance, SoHo House, a members’ club for creatives, gives members access to their club spaces, facilities, Cowshed spa, screening room, rooftop swimming pool and event programming calendar. During the day, many clients are utilizing the main club floor as a pseudo-coworking venue. This can also be seen at The Core Club, another private club where members have access to world-class dining, state-of-the-art fitness, luxurious personal care services and space to socialize or even work.

These coworking companies have invested and put a lot of thought into their design and amenities to drive their client base through their doors and keep their tenants satisfied. And with the extensive variety of coworking options on the market, entrepreneurs and small companies are surely able to find a coworking solution that fits their specific needs and desires.

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