Although the Covid-19 pandemic has temporarily halted the breakneck proliferation of coworking spaces, a trend that had been gaining traction during the past decade catering to an ever-growing number of freelancers, small businesses and start-ups, their future seems rosy, in part because of the pandemic – with work life bleeding into personal time, people working from home can’t wait for a change of scenery. Working from home is of course very convenient but it lacks the social aspect that’s so vital to fostering creativity, fuelling productivity and boosting wellbeing. Coworking spaces welcome social interaction as well as offer the autonomy and flexibility that traditional office spaces don’t; they bring, in other words, the best of both worlds to the working experience, especially if they embrace a lifestyle-oriented and design-inflected concept. But don’t take our word for it, check out the newest space from Spanish co-working brand Cloudworks in the centre of Barcelona designed by local architecture and design studio MESURA.
Taking advantage of its penthouse location, and underpinned by a no-nonsense aesthetic of minimalist sophistication, the space is bright and airy, seamlessly combining work and social areas, as well as indoor and outdoor zones. With panoramic views of the city and a wrap-around terrace to boot, the working environment not only promotes collaboration, openness and community, it’s also an inspiring place you actually want to spend time in.
MESURA approached the project with a focus on function, identity, wellbeing and sustainability. In order to take advantage of the premium penthouse location, an open-plan configuration was adopted with glass partitions ensuring privacy for meeting rooms without sacrificing views or a sense of openness and continuity. Large windows along the façade introduce plenty of natural light, while a colour palette of predominantly white and light grey tones enhances the sense of brightness and allow the views of the city to take centre stage.
Colour accents in the form of custom-designed furniture have been strategically used to introduce a clear identity, distinguish between different functions, and enliven the monochromatic interiors. Bright red demarcates the locker and storage area, green tables and counters indicate the social zones, while beige and blue are reserved for the working areas. Locally produced using sustainable materials, including recycled end-of-life textiles by Copenhagen-based Really, the furniture that MESURA has designed also attests to the project’s sustainability credentials.
Underpinned by the building’s exposed white-painted concrete structure, the austere, minimalist interiors are complemented by the playful geometry of Barcelona-based OWL Furniture & Objects’ daybeds, benches, stools and side tables, their cylindrical forms echoing the Japanese lantern-inspired suspended lights by London-based designer Anthony Dickens for Spanish light manufacturer Santa & Cole.
Bountiful natural light, generous views and the availability of a spacious terrace – perfect for relaxing in the fresh air, enjoying a coffee break or soaking in the Mediterranean sun – place health and wellness at the centre of Cloudworks’ new co-working space, as does the attention to air quality, thermal and acoustic comfort, and mental health. Coupled with MESURA’s stripped down yet soulfully styled interiors, this project exemplifies how working and living are sides of the same coin when it comes to creating good office spaces.