“Dru & Adam came to our rescue over the summer when we had to move LaunchHouse to a new building in a short timeframe. We operate a coworking space, so the environment that we create for our community of entrepreneurs is critical to the success of our business. Dru & Adam helped us transform a dull, uninspiring space into a creative, energetic, and comfortable work environment. Since we moved in, we’ve retained and attracted new members, many of whom have cited the pleasant & functional design as a reason for coming to LaunchHouse. On top of that, we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with this team– we shared many laughs throughout the journey!” – Marybeth Stucker – Accountant/Office Manager
When LaunchHouse moved from their location on Lee Road in Shaker, Ohio, we were tasked with creating an existing furniture inventory, color scheme, whiteboard, and furniture layout which was to be executed in three days. Architecture Office had joined the LaunchHouse staff just prior to beginning the layout project at the new location to walk the building and offer opinion on how the potential location would fit LaunchHouse’s needs.
The assigned task was much more than simply relocating furniture to the new co-work location. While the physical size of the older and new space are similar in size, the new location offers the opportunity to create two zones, a quieter and a more social work area. While an underlying purpose of a co-work space is to create the opportunity for the collision of ideas there is also the careful balance of creating quiet spaces where team members can concentrate. The bifurcation of the new space allows for co-working areas in both the more private/quiet and more public/social zones, allowing for users to control their level of interaction and communication. By separating the zones, inhabitants of LaunchHouse can understand, through non-verbal cues, the level of interaction that other users seek, which is important for a co-work space to maintain both the exchange of ideas but also in providing a strong productive environment.
Another strategy that was implemented in the spatial layout of the new LaunchHouse was planning for for multiple styles, types, and sizes of collaborations and presentations. While the accelerator room doubles as a conference room, the multiple arrangements provide a variety of presentation style setups from classroom, to conference type, to providing for multiple break out groups. This allows for the accommodation of different sized audiences. Larger groups won’t feel tightly packed together and smaller groups won’t feel as if they are in an uncomfortably large space when the proper orientation is used.
The idea of multiple flexible collaborative spaces and uses flowed into the public co-work area. The “L” shape with ample perimeter windows allowed us to create a number of collaborative smaller “break-out” areas, where small groups could work together or even for co-work users to set up adjacent to other users they liked being around. This creation of smaller groups increases the opportunity for the exchange of information or “informal learning”. Each break-out space is centered around white-boards and flexible furniture to foster active engagement, the exchange of ideas, and equally important, the ability of the users to control and create artifacts in the space (whiteboard/ furniture arrangements). This creates a sense of ownership of certain spaces, but also creates a stronger engagement between the user and the physical space.
The center of the public space is a social mixer arranged around a circular cafe table which provides a relaxed area for casual conversation directly in the middle of the space. The higher seating allows for views over furniture to the perimeter windows and more importantly, emphasizes the public nature of the space by creating opportunity to literally “stand out”. The social mixer is the space you enter into upon entering the more public zone and acts as a collecting area outside of the Accelerator/Conference Room. It is to be decorated with the logos of the workers/companies that call LaunchHouse home.
These are just a few of the strategies that went into developing a layout for the new LaunchHouse location. We are extremely pleased with the result and were very happy that the LaunchHouse team was up for the daunting task of reimagining and relocating their space in such a short period of time. Considering they begun the move Friday the 17th and had the new location up and running by the following Wednesday is testament to how hard they believe in their mission.
We wish them the best and look forward to growing with them in the future.
- June, 2016