36 / BUILDING DIALOGUE / September 2018 ELEMENTS Co-working Co-working Goes Corporate; Flexibility Drives Design B y offering flexibility, sought-after ameni- ties and fully integrat- ed technology, co-working spaces have grown exponentially and are now attracting attorneys as well as freelance graphic designers. As a result, the spaces increasingly look like Class A, boutique offices. Design elements – everything from priva- cy and acoustics to material finishes and fur- niture – are more refined to meet the expecta- tions of a broader set of professionals. Flexibility, however, still drives designs. Clients are offered short- and long-term lease options with the ability to expand or contract within the same office. Spaces must accommodate varied users from a freelance journalist to a two-person start-up, from a five-person law firm to groups of 25 or more people from a growing local firm. Large companies and non- profit agencies not ready to invest in the overhead costs of permanent real estate are finding benefit in co-work- ing spaces. All of these individuals expect a diversity of work- place experiences packaged into one. There must be collaboration areas, huddle spots, lounge-like breakout spaces, quiet offices for heads-down concentration, con- ference rooms that double as board rooms, a mother’s room, event space and a fully equipped kitchen. Because state-of-the-art technology is essential to daily work, it must be integrated into the spaces and supported with appropriate infrastructure. Offering choices when it comes to where to work – from a private office to work lounges situated along a window wall, near the coffee bar, or off in an intimate booth – improves the experience of the space. Thus de- signs must allow for and encourage individuals to tailor their days towhat works best for them. Also important is the ability to control lighting. Dimmable, highly efficient LED lighting in the offices and throughout the space en- hance occupant comfort. Additional factors that are essential to the design and impact occupant productivity and happiness include access to daylight and views to the outside. People enjoy feeling connected to their surroundings and the ability to see views of a mountain range or even just the hus- tle and bustle of a nearby street contribute to the atmo- sphere in the work environment. As more professional clients are using co-working spaces, providing access to daylight and views must be coupled with ensuring privacy. Using design elements such as clerestories and semitranslucent glazing inmore secure environments helps ensure that clients get the same positive effects of daylight and views while main- taining necessary standards for their workflow. Appro- priately designed acoustics also facilitate privacy in a co-working environment. Applications of translucent films, acoustic glass, and a sound masking system assist acoustic and visual privacy. As co-working spaces become more refined, ameni- ties have grown from a nice location with a coffee bar to hotel-like concierge services. Conference amenities including beverage and meal services now go hand-in- hand with dry-cleaning services, on-site barber shops and salons, massage services, and car maintenance. After-hours community event opportunities are also important, thus we are increasingly designingmultipur- pose spaces. For example, a lobby that transforms easily into a venue for a speaker or a cocktail partywith a band increases value for the co-working operator and its cli- ents. Jen Bussinger Associate Princpal and Interior Design Director, Page Raul Garcia/Astula Inc. Lounge-like breakout space at FIRMSPACE. Raul Garcia/Astula Inc. FIRMSPACE: Quiet offices with translucent film for privacy.