Start Ups Make Industrial Trash Workplace Treasure | Architecture & Design

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Start Ups Make Industrial Trash Workplace Treasure

Are start-ups looking for something more from their workplaces – some sort of connection with the past and a counterpoint to their ephemeral work and the ‘corporate culture’? We talk to US-based Leeser Architecture to find out.



BY Alex Kwak

August 4th, 2016


As young Gen-Y and Millennial companies begin to dominate the start-up world (if not the business world in general), are they looking for something more from their workplaces – some sort of connection with the past and a counterpoint to their ephemeral work and the ‘corporate culture’?

COWORK|RS, a new coworking space catering to small-to-medium start-ups and tech businesses, is taking advantage of the rundown nature of Brooklyn’s Gowanas Canal area to carve out a community and piggyback on the warmth and history of its ex-industrial buildings.

New York-based firm, Leeser Architecture, was charged with turning the old warehouse into a functional workspace, able to meet the very modern needs of some very ‘now’ companies. Their Principal, Thomas Leeser, is excited by the potential of these ‘trash-to-treasure’ buildings, which is evident in the firms striking responses to a challenging brief. “I think it’s a generational shift, that people are more interested in trying their own thing and this sort of space gives them the opportunity to do so”. Within the same building, Leeser has also created a dedicated workspace for another internet start-up – bringing with it its own set of challeneges.

However – regardless of the desire to upcycle these rundown areas and buildings – diversity, community, and culture remain at the heart of successful working environments, something which the young, innovative tech companies are uniquely placed to foster…

See the full story in Indesign #66. Subscribe here. 


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