Ulx Nov Dec09


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ULX Nov/Dec 2009

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Ulx Nov Dec09

  1. 1. The high number of job losses At one end of the spectrum, may be part of the attraction, but and the limited number of employ- more traditional business cen- the community aspect also comes ment opportunities in the current ters or executive suites provide with networking benefits, allowing economy make going solo or start- private offices, individual phone members to bounce ideas off of ing a small entrepreneurial business lines, receptionist services, and each other and to trade services. an increasingly attractive option— administrative support. At the From converted office floors to refur- and sometimes, the only viable other end are coworking sites, bished industrial lofts, these spaces option. Even those with permanent which offer a permanent desk or a give software developers, graphic jobs who want to telecommute have seat at communal tables—usually designers, writers, startup compa- to find a comfortable environment with at least one conference room nies, and nonprofit organizations in which to set up their laptop. available on a reservation basis alike the chance to rub elbows. For workers seeking to escape the as well as access to the Internet, distractions of home, the clatter of a kitchen, perhaps some office RON NYREN a coffee shop, or the expense of an equipment, and free coffee. individual office lease, shared-office- The short lease terms, often space providers offer a way out. month to month, and low prices
  2. 2. After their first child was born, Brooklyn residents Erin Carney and Neil Carlson wanted a comfortable, social place outside the home in which to conduct their consulting businesses. To achieve that goal, this year they opened the Brooklyn Creative League, located on the third-floor loft of a former factory building in the borough’s Gowanus neighborhood. In addition to 45 semiprivate workspaces, nine private offices are available for small com- panies of four to six people, and members can take advantage of a kitchen, a café/lounge area, office machines, a conference room, and a recep- tion desk. LiRo Architects + Planners of New York assisted the founders in designing the space, which has exposed ceilings and brick walls. Sus- tainable elements include operable windows for natural ventilation, low-toxicity paint, and high- efficiency lighting, heating, and cooling. Natural cotton insulation on the workstations absorbs sound. Recycled furnishings include church pews NEIL CARLSON repurposed as seating for the kitchen/lounge.
  3. 3. Founder of Orange Networking, a Chapel Hill–based nonprofit organization working to foster equal access to the Internet, Brian Russell is also the owner of a coworking space in nearby downtown Carrboro, North Carolina. He worked with the town of Carrboro’s economic development director to write a business plan, obtained a loan from the city’s revolving loan program, and BRIAN RUSSELL/WWW.CARRBOROCOWORKING.COM leased a former doctor’s office suite in a two-story brick profes- sional building. His sources for furniture: IKEA and Craigslist. Opened in 2008, the space now houses nine private offices ranging from 80 to 160 square feet (7 to 15 sq m) in size as well as three conference rooms equipped with presentation computers and large liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors. The former waiting room serves as additional workspace and a place to hang out; there also is a shared kitchen.
  4. 4. Toronto, Ontario–based Urbanspace Property Group acquired the Robertson Building, an early-1900s plumbing fixture factory in downtown Toronto, in 2002. After spending two years restoring and renovating the structure, Urbanspace’s president, Margarate Zeidler, cofounded the Centre for Social Innovation with local community organizer Tonya Surman. Located in 20,000 square feet (1,858 sq m) on the Robertson Build- ing’s first and fourth floors, the organization provides shared office space for more than 170 social mission groups advocating for issues such as education, the environ- ment, health, and social justice. There are 46 private offices of varying sizes and 40 private desk spaces available for monthly rates. Zeidler and Surman designed the space with extensive internal glazing and a light color palette to make the most of natural light. In addition to kitchen facilities, meeting rooms, and office equipment, the facility includes indoor bicycle parking, and the building itself has a rooftop garden and a living “biowall” in the lobby. YVONNE BAMBRICK
  5. 5. Green Desk leases office space in two Brooklyn locations: 21,200 square feet (1,970 sq m) in a renovated 1891 tobacco and pipe warehouse, and 7,000 feet (650 sq m) in a renovated 1907 tea factory and warehouse. Founded by Miguel McKelvey, Gil Haklay, Adam Neumann, and the owner of the build- ings, Jack Guttman, Green Desk opened in 2008 and offers single-desk cubicles as well as multidesk offices. Architectural designers McKelvey and Haklay created the open-plan spaces, which have exposed beams and brick walls and individual workstations separated by glass partitions. Green Desk members get discounted rates MEIR PLISKIN/GREEN DESK on renting the 3,200-square-foot (297-sq-m) loft space at 155 Water Street for events and parties; the building’s basement is also being converted for additional office use. Sustainable design features include energy-efficient lighting and low-toxicity finishes.
  6. 6. In 2006, Denver-based real estate private equity group BaseCamp Capital, LLC, invested in the historic 19th-century Amos H. Root Building in Denver’s LoDo District. Andrew Luter, a longtime entrepreneur as well as the firm’s cofounder and managing partner, decided to create a coworking site in the commercial building’s vacant 4,000-square-foot (372-sq-m) basement, which had once housed offices and storage space. Working with interior designer Margo Simmons and architecture firm BlueSky Studio, both of Denver, Luter had the space gutted, exposing brick, stone, and ceiling joists to give the space a high-tech feel. Opened in 2007, the Hive Cooperative includes open- plan office pods for up to 25 members, a café/lounge area for collaboration and socializing, and a confer- ence room. A few blocks from the light-rail and Amtrak lines of Union Station, the location is also on a major ANDREW LUTER bike path, and the Hive offers a shower for cyclists to use. Tenants pay month-to-month rent via PayPal.
  7. 7. The Buddha statues and aromatherapy-diffusing air-conditioning system set Le Bureau apart from traditional office environments. In Battersea Stu- dios, a complex of offices and studios in south- east London, founder Peter Spencer modeled Le Bureau after a boutique hotel. It occupies the top floor of a 1980s building that once housed the Middle Eastern Broadcasting Corporation. Underneath a high ceiling equipped with roof lights, Spencer designed the space with 98 oak desks in groups of four to six within a semi-open floor plan. Each desk has its own lockable pedestal for storage. Individuals and small teams rent desks on a month-by-month basis and have access to a shared kitchen, three meeting rooms, two quiet booths for private phone calls, and a breakout area with leather sofas. A fingerprint access system gives users access at all hours. The 5,250-square- ©LE BUREAU 2009 foot (488-sq-m) space opened in 2007.
  8. 8. Seeking a social alternative to working at home or commuting to their jobs, Seattle residents and Office Nomads founders Jacob Sayles and Susan Evans leased space on the second floor of the Heath Print- ing building in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, to the east of downtown and close to multiple public transit lines. Local interior design firm Natural Bal- ance helped repair and repaint the space and refur- bish the existing kitchen and its old oak cabinets. The 5,000-square-foot (465-sq-m) office opened in 2007 with three conference rooms, the largest of which has a table that Sayles and Evans built them- CHRISTY KINSKEY/FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/CKINSKEY selves using scraps of salvaged wood. In order to provide an organic contrast to the exposed-brick feel of the space, a built-in bookshelf was added to the front conference room and the large white boards were framed with cedar. Couches and tables in the open workspace were purchased from Craigslist and furniture liquidation stores.
  9. 9. At its existing business center in London’s Berkeley Square, workplace provider Regus, headquartered in Chertsey, Eng- land, wanted to renovate the business lounge in order to impart a boutique hotel feel that would appeal to mobile workers ranging from entrepreneurs to corporate CEOs. London-based Barr Gazetas was the architect and interior designer, reglazing the street-level facade to enhance views and encourage casual drop-in use. Completed in April, the lounge incorporates solid walnut paneling, and the program- mable glass panels that screen the meeting rooms from the rest of the space display changing images. In the double-height atrium, local art collective rAndom International installed a large, kinetic mirror sculpture. Spaces include a library, private meeting rooms, a teleconference room, and individual work areas. Workers have access to administra- tive and IT support as well as Internet and phone services. PHILIP VILE
  10. 10. After a departing software company left a significant vacancy in the office building he owns in downtown Redmond, Washington, Peter Chee decided to gut and renovate 25,000 square feet (2,323 sq m) on three floors to convert into shared offices with a sustainable slant. Working with Seattle-based design firm Jones Tsukamaki, Chee recycled 98 percent of construction debris and specified energy-efficient lighting; paints, furnishings, and carpets that emit low or no volatile organic compounds; and bar stools made out of recycled soda cans in the kitchen. KELLI CHRISTOFERSON/KELLILYNNPHOTOS.COM Steps away from the downtown transit center, it has achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for commercial interiors certification (LEED-CI) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Spaces include single offices and larger suites, meeting rooms, a coworking area, and a staffed reception area. Think- space opened in 2008.
  11. 11. CHUCK CHOI ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY CHUCK CHOI ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY Wurk Times Square opened earlier this year on the 11th and 12th floors of use of internal glass panels to let natural light deep into the floor plates. 1515 Broadway, on the west side of Manhattan. The 65,000-square-foot The designers tailored the 11th floor for media and entertainment compa- (6,039-sq-m) flagship space of Wurk Environments, a company dedicated nies with a more modern feel than the 12th floor, which is contemporary to providing temporary offices for businesses, it includes more than 185 but more formal to appeal to corporate, legal, and financial tenants. furnished office suites. A demountable wall system allows tenants to Tenants have access to on-site concierge services on both floors and can easily change the size of the space they rent. Designed by the New York book Wurk’s full-service café/bistro/lounge for parties, conferences, office of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, the interiors make extensive and other events.