A hammock suspended in midair and tables with integrated storage systems are some of the space-saving details that Colombo and Serboli Architecture have added inside this series of low-budget community co-working spaces in Barcelona.
Colombo and Serboli Architecture, also known as CaSA, was asked to transform five unused commercial properties in Baró de Viver, an area of the Spanish city with a high rate of unemployment. The aim was to create workspaces for local entrepreneurs. The budget was very tight, so the architects developed a series of versatile furniture designs able to suit various activities.
“We had to translate the laudable target of the initiative into space, transforming five never-used, neglected, bricked and empty premises on the ground floor of social-housing blocks into attractive, vibrant workspaces where small companies would want to set up their offices,” said the team.
“The project had to make the most of the spaces, give visibility of the co-working to the neighbourhood, communicate openness, and keep content safe in an area with security problems.”
Two of the five spaces are positioned next to one another, so were joined together. This created enough extra space to provide a kitchen, but not enough for a lounge space – so CaSA instead decided to make one that was raised up in the air. They built a simple steel frame and wrapped netting over it, creating an elevated hammock. It is accessed via a simple staircase, made by folding up a single sheet of perforated metal.
“One can contemplate the trees outside whilst hanging there,” said the team.
Each of the workspaces has its own distinctive colour, which is applied around the base of the walls, and also features on round acoustic panels that hang from the ceilings. This helps to give each all five spaces their own identity, but also ties them together. Work surfaces are provided by trapezoid-shaped (as well as rectangular) tables, designed to suit different configurations. These feature gridded metal backdrops, so people can attach papers and plants to them, but they don’t block views.
Modular LED lighting systems attach to the legs of these desks, and can adjusted to face in different directions. These are joined by chairs and small tables provided by furniture brand Kettal, including the Jasper Morrison-designed Village chairs.
Other details were kept as they were, including the concrete columns and exposed ceilings – although mesh shutters were added for security.
Called Sinèrgics, the spaces are now used for a variety of different occupations, from bicycle repair to textile design.
We are expanding the breadth of our services aimed at the creative, media and tech industries through the recruitment of Sam Dawson.
Sam joins the team to focus on providing flexible office solutions to high-growth businesses in London. Deploying his specialised knowledge and experience of the sector, he will advise on both flexible, serviced offices for businesses looking to grow and traditional leases for businesses further along their growth path.
Welcome to the KONTOR family Sam!
To round out 2015 we thought we would share one of our favourite offices of the year. Designed by Steven Vandenborre Architects this project takes minimalism to a whole new level and we want to work there!
Because of the scale of the building, the interior design of the new offices was based on a small city where you walk, work, sit and dine like in a real city. After studying plans of old, organically grown cities Steven Vandenborre Architects worked out a kind of promenade in the building (‘Rambla’) with squares (‘Plazas’), terraces and large stairs.
The main goal of the design was to eliminate all disturbing objects and to make a feature of the typical character of the building like the concrete columns, concrete floors, big spaces and large panoramic windows.
Before we get carried away with 2016 we thought we would share some of our highlights of 2015:
~ We acquired more than 450,000 sq ft in total working with some awesome clients such as WeWork, Propercorn, Dr Ed and Hassle to name but a few.
~ Carrying out over 700 property viewings in the process.
~ KONTOR was nominated for both the CoStar and Property Week Best Newcomer of The Year Awards 2015.
~ Co-founder James was recognised by Property Week as one of the top 40 property professionals under 40 (we like to think its a team effort).
~ We ventured out from our home comforts of London and visited new markets such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, Dublin, Brussels, Antwerp, Tel Aviv, New York, Miami and Toronto.
~ Thats a total of 92 flights and 80,000 sq ft acquired as a result.
~ We welcomed Jack Fryer to the KONTOR family and not forgetting Amy our artificial intelligence P.A.
~ 587 cups of green tea consumed … thanks Jack (we’re a healthy bunch!)
Above all we had the pleasure of working with industry leading clients and having loads of fun along the way. Bring on 2016!
We are pleased to have helped our friends at 500 Startups find their new home in London.
Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups isn’t new to the U.K. or Europe by any means. The seed investor and accelerator program has backed something in the region of 15 to 20 British startups, depending on how you count these things, and over 50 European startups overall.
But now they are officially setting up shop in London with the launch of “Distro Dojo”, a new three-month program for ‘post-seed’ startups that will aggressively focus on growth in a bid to help bridge the gap between seed funding, which is arguably becoming plentiful in the U.K., and the so-called Series A “crunch”.
A picture is worth a thousand words and we couldn’t help but compile some of our favourite workspace and architectural images over on our new Pinterest page.
Serving not only as daily inspiration but a reminder that there is no excuse for mediocre office design. Enjoy!
Over on Twitter @KontorLondon we have been sharing unique workspaces around the world using the hashtag ‘#WorkspacesWeWant to work in’ to highlight these amazing spaces and prove that the traditional office doesn’t have to be boring.
This series of ‘Workspace of the week’ cherry picks our favourites. Enjoy!