There’s little doubt that coworking facilities are playing a vital part of the workplace evolution. Whether we’re hosting a MixInspired event or immersed in a Round Table discussion, the subject will undoubtedly turn to this alternative work setting. And it’s little wonder when you see the quality of the culture behind some of these spaces.
The new Mindspace London facility is a perfect example. The flagship London premises are situated within The Relay Building in Aldgate, at the border of Shoreditch and the City, providing a thriving community of commercial and creative companies with a unique mix of culture and amenities. Mindspace Aldgate spans 2,930 sq m across two floors and offers private offices for teams of all sizes, lounges, communal kitchens, meeting rooms and phone booths for a range of business users.
Since launching in 2014, Mindspace has experienced an extraordinary start-up journey. In just three years, the Israeli workspace brand has amassed 18 locations across Europe, Israel and (soon) the US, and now caters for over 10,000 members and over 2,000 companies globally. Mindspace offers artistically designed, high-end coworking spaces that places companies, departments, start-ups and teams of all sizes in a collaborative environment.
Aldgate marks its first in London, while its second UK space is scheduled to open in Shoreditch next month.
Last year’s openings included Warsaw, Berlin and Munich, and this year Mindspace is expanding rapidly in buzzing world cities including San Francisco and Washington DC – with many more yet to be announced. Current members of Mindspace include large corporate businesses, SMBs, start-ups and freelancers.
What differentiates Mindspace from other coworking spaces is that each facility contains a bespoke design that complements the local area, embedding them at the heart of the local community.
Members can access Mindspace properties 24/7, while gaining unlimited access to all locations around the world at no additional cost.
The designs follow Mindspace’s unique boutique style, incorporating artistic influences from the local area. The interiors are carefully curated to inspire occupiers through eclectic furniture, bespoke joinery, murals and original pieces scoured from flea markets. Mindspace connected with local manufacturers and suppliers by preparing the furniture package and finalising the finishes selection together, ensuring the project had a distinctly ‘London’ feel.
Mindspace Aldgate can accommodate 700 members and is now up and running, fulfilling the company’s ambitions to create a community of start-ups and business users in a stylish plug and play environment. This is a high quality, bespoke, distinctively local fit-out.
Danielle Avrahami, Mindspace’s London lead, can tell us more about the brand philosophy and what this first facility in the capital promises. ‘Mindspace was founded just four years ago. We started off in Tel Aviv – and that was nearly sold out before construction was even completed. The company took over another space and the same thing happened – and then took over a six-storey building, which was the former Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building, complete with a roof deck for events, a gym and an auditorium.
‘Following the success of that, we started our global expansion, starting with the German market. We have now tripled in size in Germany.
‘This space here at Aldgate will accommodate approximately 700 members and will feature mostly private offices, as well as customisable spaces for enterprise companies and open areas with hot desks, fixed desks for freelancers and remote workers. Our communities are made up of all different types of businesses from various industries, so we have companies here who work in the events industry, AI, social media – the list goes on.
‘We then have a series of location managers – and their job is to completely immerse themselves in the community here. They get to know all the different members and what they are interested in – and then curate different events and content so that members can come together and can also showcase their own businesses to other members. On top of that, we also look to pamper them – so we have massages, we have great food and drink, we have happy hours and also a series of content-driven workshops. We look to take as much of the day-to-day operational element from our members as possible.
‘Of course, the design of the space is also incredibly important. Our global design team is headquartered in Tel Aviv. They come down to each city we’re launching in – so they’ve been on the ground here in London.
‘Our local design and creative team handpicks pieces from flea markets, they meet with local artists – a great example of this being the giant mural in the lounge area – and they make sure that every single site is emblematic of the neighbourhood you’re in.
‘No matter which Mindspace you walk in to, you’ll instantly know that it is a Mindspace. All sites speak the same design language and operate in the same manner – but you’ll also know which particular site you’re in, you’ll feel the vibe and be aware of all those special handpicked elements.’
As we move through the new Aldgate space, Danielle tells us that facility is very much a 24/7 operation. ‘There is 24/7 access for all our members’, she confirms. ‘They can come in at any time so that they can be at their most productive. The kitchen/bar area and breakout area will also remain open and everything that you see throughout the space in terms of these facilities is all included within the price.
‘The space has a series of meeting rooms, each of which is unique and features different layouts and furniture – and these are bookable through our app. On top of this, we also have a series of individual booths where members can have private phone conversations. We’ve carefully selected the materials throughout the space – we have a lot of wood, have kept the exposed ceilings and have also used a lot of glass, the idea being that there is a real feeling of openness throughout, to get the community collaborating and visible to one another while, at the same time, they can also go into their own offices, shut the door behind them and have some privacy.
‘The offices vary in sizes, from one-person upwards, basically. The offices are designed with a great deal of flexibility – so we can easily put in or take out the partition walls as and when our member companies expand or contract. We like to always be able to offer our members whatever it is they require, so we can adapt their space at extremely short notice – that way, they can grow with us.’
And why wouldn’t you? With so many of the basic needs and functions catered for by a dynamic, knowledgeable team and an amazing amount of flexibility naturally built in to the facility, Mindspace Aldgate is an incredibly attractive proposition for both start-up/emerging businesses and also for established companies looking to have a London presence, just a stone’s throw from the City.
The look and feel of the space is extremely smart too. The balance is just right – not too funky and eclectic that more traditional sectors will be put off, but also not corporate or staid. Millennials and creative will certainly not feel alienated here. It looks as though Mindspace’s global drive is not going to slow down any time soon – and that, for a lot of businesses (a number of which haven’t even been founded yet), is a very good thing indeed.