MAT office, a research and design studio based in Rotterdam and Beijing, is dedicated to the observation and speculation of emerging issues related to contemporary urbanisation processes, aiming to seek architectural solutions to arising problems. When faced with the task of renovating three of floors of an apartment building into a coworking space, a research-based design method was introduced by the architects, resulting in a flexible space-sharing model.
The design’s outcome creates a library-like experience: on the first level, the traditional lobby-corridor-office layout no longer exists, and has been transformed into a widely open area instead, that includes a bar counter which provides basic management and services to the coworking space. A big discussion table serves both groups and individuals, while more privacy can be found in the booth area, suitable for small groups. workstations are provided for those in need of complete isolation.
Besides the library-like experience, an area has been adapted to serve as an exhibition space. Most of the people working here are small or medium sized teams in the initial start-up phase of their business, meaning that their products need a way to be presented, published and marketed. Therefore, four-display units and a whole display wall were placed on the first level to serve the presentation needs of the teams. In this project the notion of coworking evolves not only as the habitat of the team, but also to the home of their product.
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