While working from home in your pajamas has a certain allure, it can quickly become socially isolating and stifling to your business’s productivity and growth. With the number of start-ups and self-employed entrepreneurs on the rise, coworking spaces are multiplying in response to this growing demographic. Shared work environments are cost effective for entrepreneurs and small teams who want to work in a collaborative group environment with all the amenities of a fully functioning office.
Moving beyond the classic open-plan, the design of coworking spaces are rapidly evolving to include everything from ergonomic designer furniture and event space to perks like massage, yoga and beer on tap. Modern Home spoke to Interior Designer, Kirsten Cluett from Monk Office to reveal the intent behind Victoria’s coworking environment, Spacestation. She shares Spacestation’s design goals and explains how furniture choices and functionality played an integral role in the layout and comfort of this modern workspace.
Developed in an iconic heritage building, a block from the inner harbour in downtown Victoria, Spacestation is a creative collaboration between Cluett from Monk Office, Interior Designer, David Hanson and the client. “Spacestation was designed for creative professionals and small teams who enjoy sharing space with like-minded people but don’t want to be burdened with a lease on their own office. Our goal was to design a turn-key workspace where people could work comfortably without devoting time, energy and resources toward creating an entire office for themselves,” says Cluett.
The Jaks bench seat by Allermuir works well grouped together in this casual meeting space. With its dynamic cross shape, it can be configured into functional patterns with a playful effect. Jaks can host greeting spaces, informal meetings or a comfortable seat for individuals to perch with their laptop.
Cluett worked closely with the client and Hanson to specify furniture that would fit with their vision. “If we are able to work through the design process and collaborate with the client from the beginning, we can determine the needs and the budget fairly quickly and suggest several product lines, layouts and colour options that best suit the end user.”
Speaking to the meeting area’s casual feel, Cluett chose the Bison Tub Chair by Allermuir for its narrow silhouette. With a slightly higher seat and flat plane, the tub chair makes a comfortable meeting or lounge chair.
Inspired by the engineering principles of suspension bridges, the Herman Miller, Sayl Chairs were chosen for their ergonomic innovation and minimal use of materials. Elastomer strands on the suspension back vary in thickness and tension to provide greater support in the transition areas along the spine and encourage a full range of seated movement.
The Pause chair by Allermuir (in background) is a contemporary modular seating system with a comfortable full-width back. Chosen for its flexibility and integrated cable management, the HPL Contract’s Benching System is a modular workstation system ideal for clients who expect modifications and future growth.
Cluett adds that “the goal was to create an environment that is fun, energizing and comfortable to be in.” One of the main objectives of a functional coworking space is to strike just the right balance between private work areas and modular groupings of soft furniture for casual meetings. Soft modular furniture that can be adapted to a variety of situations was chosen for collaborative areas while comfortable, functional desks and ergonomic seating was used for individual workstations.
Designed with creative individuals in mind, colour-coordinated sectors in primary hues were established to distinguish the different work areas. For Cluett, the most important aspect of any office design is functionality. “The space has to be able to answer to its user group and the work that they do, but it also has to be an aesthetically inspiring place to work. Designed to support productivity, the layout and type of furnishings all have an impact on an individual’s engagement, connection, well-being and happiness. Strategically planned, a well-designed workspace sets people up for success.”
Addressed in the layout of the space, privacy between user groups was integral to the design of Spacestation. Ideal for teams of up to 16, private boardrooms offer the security of a working team space under the same roof as other like-minded professionals.
The Host laptop table, a stand-alone work surface designed with a weighted stable base and elegant column, paired with the Bison Tub Chair by Allermuir offers a pop-up work area. The laptop table top is made of aluminium making the product 100% recyclable.