According to Deskmag’s Global Working Survey 2017, there has been a global increase of 5,500 coworking spaces from 5,800 to 11,300 since 2014, projected to reach 13,800 in 2017.
While the growth of freelance population is a huge reason for this, Leanne Beesley—Co-Founder & CEO of CoWorker noted, “The flexibility, cost-effectiveness and social components of shared working spaces are attracting more and more startups and small businesses to forego regular office leases for coworking memberships.”
So with shared working spaces amping up their design and amenities, I wondered what are the most beautiful spots in the world. And based on almost 4,000 coworking spaces across 105 countries featured on Coworker, Beesley sent me her list of recommendations.
Here are my top picks.
#1: Crew Collective (Montreal, Canada)
It’s hard not to have your breath taken away by Crew Collective—a stunning 12,000 square-foot coworking space within a former Royal Bank in Old Montreal during the 1920s. Keeping focus on the glamorous building (think 50-foot vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, marble and bronze everywhere!), local architect Henri Cleinge was faced with the challenge of creating a cohesive theme while separating different areas for Crew employees, co-working members, public café users, and meeting room renters. How did he do it? “By facilitating the flow through transparent and translucent borders, making the most of the original bank teller as a natural partition, coupled with building a complex series of glass walls between the various areas, with a defined access to reflect the degree of permanency for each worker group,” he said.
#2: Ministry Of New (Mumbai, India)
True to the vision of co-founders Marlies Bloemndaal and Natascha Chadha, Ministry of New is much more about building a community than just another shared office in the market. So when it comes to the interior design, the Dutch duo believes it's important to have a range of high-quality, cozy working environments combining functional European style with a distinctive, local touch. What this means—according to Creative Director Bloemendaal—is nothing commonplace like “slogans, colored beanbags, basketball, football or ping-pong tables.” Instead, tons of green spaces, personalized furniture and natural light, mixed with unique, vintage chandeliers, Jaipur rugs and artworks from local art galleries.
#3: Neuehouse Hollywood (Los Angeles, United States)
Perhaps there really aren’t many places that could inspire creative types as much as NeueHouse Hollywood. Stepping foot in the seven-story space within the landmarked 1938 CBS Radio building, you’ll be instantly transported to the glamorous, old days of the Hollywood industry, surrounded by Art Moderne elements and industrial features. “Repurposing old sound stages and carefully pairing rich Berber textiles and rugs as well as North African decorative elements with custom lighting, ottomans plus pillows, our team at NeueHouse Studio and Rockwell Group managed to create a warm, professional space that’s totally timeless,” said Karl Finegan—CEO of NeueHouse.
#4: Wework Weihai Lu (Shanghai, China)
What began as an opium factory in the 1930s and an artist residence in the mid-2000s is now fully transformed into an ultra-stylish branch of WeWork in China. Jointly designed by WeWork's in-house team and Linehouse, this 1.36-acre, historical London-style mansion with a stunning, triple-height central atrium boasts a few key design features one should look out for. For instance, noted Ashley Couch, Senior Associate & Director of Interior Design at WeWork, “There are plenty of brass fixtures, heritage wood paneling, etched glass partitions, and terrazzo tiling functioning as dividers without building actual walls; warm seating options upholstered in velvet and leather along with handmade poufs by local designers WHY NOT and Fritz Hansen chairs; plus a stunning steel staircase painted in ivy green to complement the red brick of the existing heritage building.” At the end of the day, every design decision is made to balance form with function, foster the community, and pay tribute to the local culture and space.
#5: The Work Project (Hong Kong)
With a strong hospitality background, the folks behind Hong Kong’s The Work Project know a thing or two about elevating the coworking experience. Open since September 2016, what you can find here includes a well-curated library focusing on architecture, design, cuisines, world affairs and travel, award-winning custom Bean Table, plus custom-made art pieces by the in-house team and Bean Buro to fully accentuate the serene yet stylish design philosophy. With everything being high-quality without feeling overdone, a few elements that truly set this space apart are "the tall ceilings (something rare in Hong Kong), the beautiful yet comfortable furniture, and the breathtaking vertical garden designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc,” said Junny Lee—Founder & Managing Director of The Work Project.