Created by Portland Studio LOS OSOS, the “mobile work unit” (or MWU for short) is half trailer and half office, created for the design oriented jobs website Coroflot. Reflecting the innovation and creative flexibility of the community for which it was built, the MWU encapsulates the personality of Coroflot and can grow to accommodate the needs of the company as it expands into the future. “Coroflot is a virtual community, but the connections between employers and people seeking work, those are real world connections,” says Coroflot co-founder Eric Ludlum. “We felt it was important to introduce a real world component into what coroflot does.” The MWU is mobility to a tee — the entire office capable of being hitched to a vehicle and just driven away.
It was built by the LOS OSOS team using locally sourced, custom milled, and kiln-dried douglas fir wood, the warm material lending a humble hue to the otherwise ambitious project. Powder coated steel supports the frame with a bright orange that matches the website’s colorful branding. Under the direction of Laurence Sarrazin, the studio created an entirely modulated, entirely mobile office space. “We wheeled a trailer in here and built the structure, in place,” said Sarrazin when speaking with Interior Design Magazine during a recent interview. “The thing I’m most excited about is that the construction is post-and-beam, which alleviates the wall’s function as a structure.
So I used polycarbonate as siding, which allows all this light to come in while offering an acoustical barrier.” Located in downtown Portland, the coroflot MWU is currently tucked away inside an old ambulance garage, but can hit the road at a moment’s notice. Defined by simple geometric lines and warm, raw materials, the office is surprisingly roomy for such a small space. A translucent skin and minimal furnishings lend an “open” feeling to the compact workspace, and invites light into the trailer — but what makes the project is what’s inside. Brackets, holes and hooks along the frame mean that furniture can be arranged in an endless number of ways. Tables can turn into shelves, benches into desks, workspaces and kitchenettes can pop up and disappear in no time at all.
The result is an office space that is dynamic, responsive and constantly experimenting — much like the people who work there. Capable of being dismantled and repurposed, the MWU takes sustainable office space to the next level. Sarrazin sees the space as the modern work environment for the creative professional — always ready to adapt or expand — and she doesn’t mean for it to end here. “I see the next version in so many different flavors — office, retail, showroom, home,” she says, “and each has its own challenges and parameters that would determine what the skin would be, the size, how much light is let in, how much storage, all those fun design problems. It would be exciting to find manufacturers.”