As the name implies, WeWork’s Wonder Bread Factory office in Washington, DC, is a former industrial bread production facility, now baking ideas from dozens of local companies that make these offices their home. On the other side of an open area, a small conference hall is filled with a dozen or so people attending a courier training session for Caviar, an application-based meal delivery service. In the communal kitchen, a beer delivery man connects the tap line to a keg and explains how to keep it from going flat while a bespectacled gentleman prepares his lunch on the counter. Garage doors on the southern side of the room open—when the weather allows it—to a sunny patio with an assortment of seating for lounging, dining, or meeting al fresco.
Coworking spaces such as these have been springing up all over the country. In cities where office space rental is prohibitively expensive, coworking affords the opportunity to conduct business within professional environments without taking on the high cost of overhead. Think of it almost like getting a group of friends together to rent a house: With pooled resources and some shared amenities, each person can perhaps pay less for rent while enjoying more overall space as well as a healthy sense of community. And through architect-led redesigns and renovations, that sense of an office as a community can be enhanced even further.
These shared spaces often come with flair specific to each locale; in DC, a graffito by District native Kelly Towles overlooks the third-floor common area, and the caffeine supply comes directly from local roaster La Colombe. A local firm, Georgetown-based R2L:Architects, added three levels to the existing structure, and rehabilitated the existing historic façades. Within the WeWork offices, glass walls and doors enclose variously sized private offices arranged on long corridors, allowing natural light to fill each space.
Read the full story at Topic Architecture.