It’s not a co-working space. That’s the first thing the Downtown Alliance wants you to know about Lower Manhattan HQ (LMHQ), its new 12,500-square-foot, whiteboard-walled, coffee-equipped clubhouse at 150 Broadway. Yes, you can go there to work, or even get in a meeting or two, but LMHQ’s main objective is to serve as a sort of “living room” for downtown Manhattan professionals looking to network, recharge, or learn something new. The vibrant new space will be launching next week on July 1st, but is offering New Yorkers a sneak preview at its #OFFSITE festival featuring speakers from Smorgasburg, Control Group, Maple and more through June 26th.
“There’s nothing like this in Lower Manhattan,” Daria Siegel, LMHQ team member and Assistant Vice President of Economic Development Programs at Downtown Alliance, told us. “It’s like an Ace Hotel for downtown Manhattan. And we’re unique in that we’re a non-profit and we’re not a co-working space. People can come here to do work, but we want it to feel more like a place to escape work and connect with other professionals in the community.”
Located just a few minutes’ walk from Wall Street and the World Trade Center, LMHQ aims to provide “a collaboration space for Lower Manhattan’s creatives and creators.” Designed by Gensler, the airy 20th-floor expanse is infused with a minimalist but energetic aesthetic characterized by sophisticated Herman Miller furniture and subtle pops of color. The walls may appear to be plain white, but they’re actually coated with IdeaPaint, a special paint that allows them to do double duty as whiteboards. In addition to conference rooms, workspaces and a screening area, LMHQ offers event space for 140 people, programming organized by NY Tech Meetup and NY Tech Council, on-site tech support, and – most importantly – a coffee bar.
Artist and interior designer Gunnar Larson designed the diagonal stripe motif that runs throughout the space.
Sustainability and energy efficiency were also important factors in the design for LMHQ. According to Gensler, the design team incorporated practices such as state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems and furniture and finishes with high recycled content or other eco-friendly characteristics, to help reduce the facility’s carbon footprint.
Photos: Yuka Yoneda, except where noted.