The experience of walking New York’s High Line inspired the layout of Antwerp co-working space Fosbury & Sons, designed by Belgian studio Going East. The new co-working space fills 3,000 square metres on the first floor of Antwerp’s WATT Tower, a 1958 building by modernist architect Léon Stynen. Going East wanted the space, which includes a mezzanine level, to have a surprising flow that would encourage creativity and break up the usual monotony of working in an office.
In a reference to New York’s famous elevated park, the interior designers looked to create a “High Line-like feeling” where “you can take different types of walks and discover something new each time”. To achieve this, they created an assortment of different formal and informal working spaces, including amphitheatre-style stair seating, a mid-century-styled meeting room and one nook with a daybed. “Here you can pause at the bar during a ‘walk’, work at the plants, sit in the library, lie down in the Aster seat, enjoy the view on the steps,” said Going East co-founder Anaïs Torfs.
“That freedom is important.” The studio also wanted to create “greatness and breathing space”, a feeling aided by the six-metre-high ceilings that feature in parts of the lower floor uninterrupted by the mezzanine. East custom-built a number of elements in the space — including a bar made of recycled bricks and fibreglass. The rest they styled with a mixture of Danish modern furnishings, contemporary pieces and crafted objects. Sofas come from the new Belgian furniture brand Journuit.
“We love a mix between old and new, by using natural materials in combination with an ethnic touch,” said Torfs, who founded Going East together with fellow interior designer Michiel Mertens. Created to host a mixture of small businesses, entrepreneurs and “digital nomads”, Fosbury & Sons is the latest in a string of flexible, communal spaces opening around the globe to cater to an increasingly self-employed workforce. This year has also seen Yves Behar design a boutique co-working space called Canopy in San Francisco, while Tom Dixon was involved in London’s Atrium.
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