Develop a multifunctional coworking space with 300 workstations from a vacant former industrial complex, and preserve the city’s history on 3000 m2 whilst also continuing to write it – this was the task presented to us and our Karlsruhe and Stuttgart design and architecture colleagues with the SteamWork project. The philosophy of the coworking space operator, GoodSpaces GmbH, was to be reflected in the new premises, which is that a coworking space should be a space for self-determined working, and one that has a positive impact on society above and beyond work. Our focus was on ensuring the inclusion of high-quality office equipment.
What does it take for many different people with different workflows and requirements to be able to work together under one roof but in a self-determined way? The answer is different room zones that serve multiple purposes: free workstations, communication islands, soundproof cubes as a room-within-a-room solution, as well as self-contained office units. Thus, users have the appropriate space for every work situation: retreat and community, concentration and collaboration.
SteamWork is divided into a total of three major coworking areas: 130 workstations in an open space, 16 enclosed office units in various sizes, soundproof areas for telephone and video conferencing, 14 meeting and conference rooms, lounge areas, and various storage rooms. There is also a large impact studio, a courtyard with a campus character, as well as an event room for up to 200 people, catering and a row of shops.
The modern interior provides an aesthetic contrast to the rough industrial charm of the spaces. The modular office elements are high-quality and at the same time use-oriented, and consequently support agile working. With the SteamWork coworking space, a hybrid office world has been created that reflects the current trend in the working world: The office of the present and future is a space for self-determined, meaningful working and living.