Co-working has officially hit an all-time high in popularity, and the concept is spreading like wildfire - first nationally, and now finally to overseas markets. With the addition of so much competition, spaces have to think outside the box and get creative with selling points, resulting in some fantastic ideas! We've rounded up six inspired spaces that we feel deserve special mention. These 6 are both domestic and international, are all unique, original, and have impeccable design features, along with offering value to their members as well as the surrounding communities. Without further ado, here is our roundup of the top 6 original coworking spaces!
1) Talent Garden (TAG) Barcelona
There are actually quite a few TAG locations throughout Europe, but the Barcelona office is jaw-dropping, featuring some truly world-class design. Smack dab in the middle of gorgeous downtown Barcelona, the space was built around the "garden" theme, featuring aspen trunks, astroturf, and sweet, organic-feeling elements thoughtfully placed in fun, expected ways. They are focused on providing spaces specifically for those in digitally-based fields, and have a vast array of members.
2) Open Johannesburg
OPEN has two different locations throughout South Africa: Capetown and Johannesburg. The latter location definitely stands out, however, with the addition of a 9-hole putting green located right in the middle of the space! It's such a neat concept and way to relax or bond with your coworkers. We really love this idea, and hope to make it out to South Africa sometime to see it in action! The pictures say it all.
3) Brooklyn Boulders
Yet ANOTHER truly unique concept, Brooklyn Boulders, while not technically overseas, offers completely original features, most notably a massive climbing gym, which the entire rest of the space centers around. Right now it has two locations: one in NYC and another in Chicago, with sights on further US expansion. If you are a fitness buff with a startup, Brooklyn Boulders is a must visit. This place is awesome, with the NYC location offering the following amenities offered to all its members: 40,000+ SF Facility, 28,000 SF of World-Class Climbing, Daily Yoga, Fitness Classes + Equipment, Personal Training, Work and Lounge Spaces with Free Wifi, Saunas, Showers, and Locker Rooms. They're the only place in the world that boasts all of those fitness features! How unique is that??
Ok, so this space might take the cake as far as original goes: it's literally a co-working BOAT. According to an article in Contently, "This floating co-working space targets techies, creatives, and digital nomads. It holds up to 20 passengers sail at a time, and even offers sailing lessons on board. Be prepared for some cozy quarters, though, since you’ll be lodging in shared berths with up to three other passengers." Since the article was written, Coboat has expanded its territory, now offering trips in both Thailand and Greece. The boat is equipped with everything you need for both work and play, from high-speed wifi to kayaks and paddleboards. I could get used to that kind of day at the office!
5) Duke Studios
This is a really neat space located in Leeds, England, that is specifically geared towards artists and creative companies. The design is as awesome as you would expect, but the real selling point is the access to equipment that membership gets you: you can pay a bit extra to have use of the "Motherfrickinlaser" for any project you can dream up that calls for laser engraving, and they have a huge vinyl cutting machine on-site as well. Plus, all membership options except for the hotseat monthly membership come with free access to Duke Studios and their creative services, who provide members with varied offerings such as commercial interior design, furniture building, lighting manufacture, custom artwork, and corporate interior details, just to name a few. What a great perk!
6) B. Amsterdam
Surprisingly, B. Amsterdam was voted among the most affordable co-working spaces in the world, which is pretty neat considering all of the benefits membership has and the different building features! Actually, we should say buildings, since they now boats 4 different locations: 3 buildings in Amsterdam and a new offering here in the USA, in New York City. All the spaces have the same basic setup and premise: an entire multi-floor office building is owned by the space, and each
floor offers something different. There's a photo and video studio, both full-sized, for creative startups, there's several floors of coworking space, there are private office floors offering flexible choices and sizes, and there are food lounges with casual meeting spaces as well as conference rooms. They offer classes at their "startup school" and even have one building that focuses on food-related businesses. How cool!