Beautifully designed co-working spaces flooded with natural light… yeah, those have become a dime-a-dozen in the metro in recent years. But, the newly opened Spaces at World Plaza in BGC, Taguig could give other spots a run for their money.
For one thing, the 5-month-old work hub is massive — it measures 3,200 square meters. When Coconuts Manila visited the place last week, we figured it was large enough to do several somersaults in (and even a few splits) without hitting anyone or anything.
Visitors will also notice that throughout the space, there’s tons of natural light coming in — that’s thanks to high ceilings, massive windows, and generally well-thought-out layouts for each room. Contemporary European-style furnishings from well-known design brands like Vitra, Muuto, Normann Copenhagen, and AYTM dot the entire place.
What we like the most — the membership costs here are not as pricey as we had expected. They’re actually quite good, especially for jet-setters. Members pay PHP4,890 (a bit more than US$90) per month for access to their locations in 115 cities around the world.
Brand manager Margot van der Poel and country manager Lars Wittig said the co-working space also provides millennial-owned startups the chance to meet and collaborate with more established companies.
The staff at Spaces will also organize regular events, such as painting activities and movie screenings, to bring its inhabitants together.
Said van der Poel: “Even if you’re [from] a secretive business, it’s also good to come to a lifestyle event to get to get to know people and pick whatever you want to pick from that. It’s (events) a way for them to get connected to others and the way to enhance [that connection] is through our design. We designed [the place] in a way to make it easy to connect with other people.”
Spaces is originally from Amsterdam, so the place has a very European aesthetic — but, this outpost in Manila is also collaborating with local artists and designers to give it a touch of Filipino artistry. Wittig told Coconuts Manila that they might collaborate with a famed Cebu furniture designer, though he preferred not to name that designer at this time.
Adds van der Poel: “We are a global brand, but we’re also open for local collaborations. We bring European design but we always bring local [designers] as well.”
At a time when many Filipinos want to work from home because of the metro’s horrible traffic, both executives subscribe to the notion that it still makes sense to leave one’s house for a real office.
For Wittig, Spaces offers reliable Internet connectivity — a must, since many Filipino homes have unreliable Internet connections. He also said that people who say they want to work remotely actually just want to work near their homes.
Van der Peol believes that there are people who want their office to be separate from their homes.
She said: “Nowadays everyone is online. So the need, the hunger for offline places is increasing. It’s nice to come into a space [like this that’s] away from your home, tap into a work environment and tap on to others. We want to come into a place where we can see, feel, experience, interact with people. Working from home is great but it’s lonely.”
But, that’s also coming from a European perspective — we know that young working Filipinos rarely live alone, even the single folks. And because Filipino families are large, it’s possible to work at home and still be surrounded by a gaggle of relatives. Working from home isn’t necessarily lonely for us.
Nonetheless, Spaces is a nice hub where one can meet interesting folks who could become their next professional mentor or even friend. It’s a good place for freelancers and other pros where they can work in a comfortable environment, uninterrupted.
And apparently, Spaces is not stopping with its BGC branch. Soon, they’ll also open one in Makati, where they plan to transform an entire building located on Pasay Rd. cor. Makati Ave.
With chic design and a slew of activities for its members, perhaps Spaces might just entice Filipinos to leave the comfort of their homes and learn to love the office once again.
Spaces is at World Plaza, 5th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Open Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 6pm.
Update: A previous version of this article mentioned that Spaces is in 45 cities. They’re in 115 cities.