Actually, it isn’t a new concept, since the first examples of temporary office date from the beginning of the last century, caused in the United States by the dramatic 1929 depression. The critical period we are still going through forced companies and professionals to downsize their office space and reduce the operating costs. The new solutions offered by the market meet their requirements: no long-term leases, no costs of full-time accounting personnel and no need to buy equipment, but just ready-to use offices when and where you want. In the most extreme cases, one may even opt for the virtual or e-office, an inexpensive way to get an address in a prestigious position, that can be extended through additional services like hot-desking, temporary meeting rooms, administrative services and organization of events.
When, a serviced, temporary space is chosen to meet customers or suppliers, make selections or give consulting services outside one’s operative office, the Business Centre is the better solution; it make possible to open an office with no personnel and facility costs and be immediately in operation even in 24 hours, at the same time offering a prestigious image at moderate costs. Sometimes the temporary office shows the wish of joining a community, of sharing with more people not only the working hours, but also goals, philosophies and outlook on the world. So coworking (the term was coined by Bernie DeKoven in 1999) is the workstyle that suits the idea of a workplace open to the surroundings, synergies, contaminations with the outside in the best way, and that gives its members a constant stimulus. Officially the first coworking space was opened in the United States in 2005, when Brad Neuberg, a Californian freelance programmer and promoter of the Hat Factory felt the need of working in a community, yet not giving up the independence of a freelance. From then on, this new way of working has started to spread all over the world.
In both cases – business centre and coworking – technology is a must; in the former case the architectural components are a prestigious look and an even formal emphasis of the high-tech and minimalist look; instead, informality is prevailing in coworking, as well as a domestic mood, maximum open-mindedness and open space, where the leading role is played by unusual, architectural and ornamental components, personalized and stimulating, which is obvious, since this is an environment for like-minded workers, with an average age of 30/35 years.
An example of coworking: The Hub Milan, an amazing 500 sqm space and 70sqm courtyard (80 workplaces, 1 meeting room for 100 persons, 2 workshop rooms for 40 persons each) where business owners, creative people and professionals with high-impact social and environmental projects or start-up companies gain access to resources, or can be inspired by other people’s work, have cutting-edge ideas, develop useful relations and pick out market opportunities.
An example of Business Centre: Blend Tower in Milan, 11 floors, 100 offices for a total of 300 workplaces and 11 meeting rooms, for a total of 170 seats with variable lay-out, lounge area at the top floor. all fully furnished and cabled. Architectural project by the Genoa-based 5+1 AA (architects Alfonso Femia and Gianluca Peluffo); interior design by Studio DC10 (arch. Marco Vigo).