As more people gravitate to a freelancing lifestyle, creative co-working and cohabitating spaces have popped up all over the world. This new era of communal design is changing the way people live and work together, inspiring energy-efficient spaces that help people share more resources and ideas. We rounded up seven inspiring cooperative designs from across the globe. From glamorous to cozy to quirky, these seven spaces show there's an inspiring work and living space out there for everyone.
WeWork is an internationally recognized concept with luxury communal working spaces situated across the globe. Their membership plans allow freelancers and entrepreneurs to work at any WeWork space in the world. They’ve recently expanded their successful brand to include WeLive, a line of fully-furnished apartment complexes that boast communal workspaces, kitchens, roof decks, and even hot tubs.
Neuehouse is another urban co-working space that caters itself to creatives. Based in New York, Los Angeles, and London, Neuehouse transforms vacated and industrial buildings into multi-level communal workspaces that include screening rooms, broadcast studios, dining spaces and conference rooms, all centered around a modernist and artistic aesthetic.
Designer Tom Dixon transformed a 17th century London church into a contemplative co-working space for Clerkenwell Design Week. He installed some of his own lighting and furniture designs, including a chandelier made of CURVE lights and geometric tables and chairs. The project was inspired by vicar Andrew Baughen, who hoped to make the church more accessible to local creatives.
Leeser Architects transformed an old Brooklyn factory into this vibrant co-working space near the Gowanus Canal. The converted warehouse combines striking pops of color with the raw, industrial edge of the original building. The forward-thinking design features suspended LED lighting, glass conference room alcoves, and angular staircases.
Some freelancers are drawn to majestic spaces; others wish for more down-to-earth offices. Swedish project Hoffice is perfect for those who want a home atmosphere but have trouble being productive alone. Hoffice helps freelancers turn their own apartments and homes into shared co-working spaces where others can come work – for free. Many have been drawn to the Hoffice idea; people in Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America have hosted events so far.
Six friends outfitted a unique co-working space in Connecticut with the goal to “create something that couldn’t be replicated.” They scoured thrift stores to find furniture and furnishings to upcycle into a funky “anti-office,” B:Hive Bridgeport. Complete with decorations from a Ping Pong table to a bicycle desk and barn wood tables, their hive offers a vibrant space for creatives looking to connect with the community.
Architect Olle Lundberg often works with salvaged materials. He found a 1975 ferry in Iceland, the Maritol, and brought it to San Francisco, where he worked his magic. Lundberg converted the ferry into a space where he lived and worked with his wife before selling it to Kahle and Creon Levit, who turned the old ship into a co-working space affectionately called the “Icebreaker.”
Coboat offers the opportunity for digital nomads to take to the seas and live and work aboard a wind– and solar-powered catamaran. Desalination provides water for the boat dwellers as they live a “zero carbon footprint” lifestyle on the ocean. Seating outdoors and indoors allows freelancers to take full advantage of the experience.
Coca-Cola decided it no longer needed its rooftop helipad in a Mexico City office. So they asked Rojkind Arquitectos and AGENT to renovate the helipad into a garden and co-working space. Called Foro Ciel, the space features a green roof sprouting native plants that includes an “integrated solar system“. Walkways through the garden offer inspiring panoramic views of the city.
Google tasked Jump Studios with converting a 19th century Madrid factory into a campus that can house “7,000 workers and 50 resident start-ups.” The architecture and design firm created a bold space that incorporates the building’s brick walls. For the colors decorating the factory, Jump Studios drew inspiration from painters Joaquín Sorolla and Picasso.
Images via WeWork, Neuehouse, Tom Dixon, Leeser Architecture, Hoffice by David Wild and Amrit Daniel Forss, Peter DaSilva at The New York Times, B:Hive Bridgeport Facebook, Coboat, ©Jaime Navarro courtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos, and Jump Studios