Atypical coworking spaces


The origin of coworking spaces

Despite what we can think, coworking is a concept that has been rooted in tradition for some time. Collaborative work between groups of artists in the Middle Ages, artists’ workshops in the Renaissance, or research laboratories in the 1920s, whose architecture was designed to encourage encounters.

Ancient coworking space
Artist workshop set up by Jan Van Eyck (vers 1390-1441)

Today, the concept has been democratized and we have seen the growth of more and more coworking spaces around the world. Some that we could define as traditional and others more atypical with a concept, a theme or an architecture of their own. 

However, all with the same purposes : bring people together, exchange ideas and meet people.

In this article, we introduce you to different types of coworking and their particularities, according to their theme or field of activity.

Coworking spaces : Cultural coworkings

Many of today’s office co-locations offer a cultural aspect, whether it be through the community by trading and sharing knowledge with each other or in the image of Coworking Neuchâtel, with the provision of an in-house library.

For others, the cultural aspect is an integral part of the spirit of the place. What better place than a library, for example, for total immersion? Concept of a coworking space in France that offers a work space acting as a bookstore in a former convent. Rather original !

Coworking spaces : Sports coworkings

This type of space is renowed in the United States, combining work and sports activities in the same environment.

There is something for everyone ! Thrill seekers will find their happiness in a space with a skateboard park or a climbing wall. For the less adventurous, a gym or swimming pool at disposal, do the trick for spending a little energy between lunch and two or after work.

Coworking spaces : The “urban” coworkings

In a more artistic way, in some cities, such as Lisbon, the new generations have appropriated the concept of coworking to adapt it to their tastes. Old containers revisited in the office, in a more colorful and friendly spirit.
Coworking spaces : Nomadic coworkings

Nothing to do with our nomadic spaces! Here the advantage with this kind of coworkings is to be able to work anywhere at any time and sometimes even in unusual places. In a telephone booth revisited in a subway mouth in Tokyo, in a van by the sea, in the middle of a forest or even with your feet in the water on a sailing boat.

And the demand for these futuristic concepts is only increasing.

Other spaces are not imagined on the basis of a theme, but rather on the field of activity of their members.

Coworking spaces : Hackerspace, Fablab or Makerspace

Different names, practically the same use! 

A hackerspace, a fablab or a makerspace, is a space that acts as a collaborative workshop focused on technology for fields such as engineering, computer science or graphics. However, activities may vary depending on the infrastructure. 

It is an environment that encourages learning by doing, for inventors and amateurs alike.

In addition, it can be likened to a fully equipped laboratory, for people who lack space or equipment, to give room for their creativity.

The list of atypical places according to a theme or field of activity is still long and will certainly not stop growing in the coming years.


Article by Mélanie Mutombo