In the technology and start-up hub of Vancouver, a new class of innovators has turned the nine-to-five hustle on its head. From entrepreneurs out to create the next Hootsuite or Slack to freelancers working with international clients, the grind never really ends. But where to go when the regular coffee shop closes at 5 p.m. and renting space downtown comes at astronomical prices? Consider Spaces Gastown.
An easy walk from Waterfront Station and trendy haunts including Nemesis Coffee, Nuba, and Mezcal, the Gastown location of Spaces answers the growing need for creative workspace solutions in the city. Inside a handsome five-storey brick building once known as the Ormidale Block, this location has everything to fuel productivity and inspiration—and even fun.
Spaces was founded in Amsterdam by Martijn Roordink, who started the company sans a traditional office himself. Since its launch in 2008, the International Workplace Group-owned business has grown to 137 locations in 94 metropolitan cities including New York, Hong Kong, and Mexico City; Spaces even hosts the base offices of the TEDxAmsterdam team, making it the first and only co-working partner of TEDx communities. With membership available, those with remote careers have the convenience of accessing Spaces co-working clubs no matter where the next job pops up.
In terms of design, Spaces Gastown resembles its other locations worldwide in a cozy yet progressive representation of Dutch personality. Still, the charms of Gastown come through in the exposed brick and industrial elements, while playful injections of colour and texture offer a welcoming, lived-in atmosphere. Designed by Sevil Peach, the London-based design firm also responsible for Microsoft’s headquarters in Amsterdam, the 35,000-square-foot office building includes an onsite Kafka’s Coffee & Tea, games areas throughout, and an exclusive rooftop where the white sails of Canada Place can be spotted in the distance.
Meant to be more than a strong Wi-Fi connection and a quiet desk to work from, Spaces sets out to create a community of likeminded individuals, promoting opportunities to network and collaborate. Alongside the emergence of fellow global co-working company WeWork and local creation Werklab, Vancouver will surely see more of these stylish shared offices taking root. In fact, Spaces is set to open two more local locations: one on Granville Street inside the former Tom Lee Music building and another in Mount Pleasant, close to Emily Carr University. With plans to host social and educational events including rooftop yoga and start-up talks, there are plenty of reasons to stay at the office once the work is done.