What makes the best co-working and events space? As theDesk prepares to open our new centre at One Hysan Avenue, we bring you an exclusive peek at the interior design. We also ask theDesk co-founder, Oscar Venhuis, about the main factors which influence the design concept for our new space.
Co-working businesses spend a lot of time creating distinctive interiors for their centres. For theDesk, the primary concern is what matters to our members and our neighbourhood community.
“The real focus is on bringing people together. The interior design provides a blank canvas. But it’s people that bring the colour and texture to the environment,” explains theDesk co-founder, Oscar Venhuis.
“This approach led us to consider a very minimal, uncluttered environment. The reason for this is that the focus should be on people, not the building or the decoration. Whatever we do, the important thing is not to create noise but to design an environment for people to come together and be productive.”
“We’re not developing a place only to be different, but one that offers what our members ask for. It just happens to be minimal,” explains Oscar.
“People want and need privacy to be productive. A tranquil, well-lit space enables our members to focus on what matters most – getting their work done.” From this perspective, the design concept is straightforward. In line with our name, theDesk, the interior emphasises the subtle line of the desks, with luxurious walnut desktops. “The desk height is a design narrative that runs throughout the space,” says Oscar. “Good lighting is essential, and the simple, pure white colour scheme enhances that.”
“Many of our members are running established start-ups and SMEs. They’re looking less for a social environment,” Oscar says. “The priority is on productivity. Members often have an existing network. They choose us because of our location but also because of our commitment to creating an inclusive community. This is an ethos that supports business growth and enables people to extend their network across the neighbourhood.”
“Most people think that co-working is about young people. But the reality is that about 60% are between 30 and 50 years old.”
“Although productivity is king, our members also need communal areas to break out. People want a place to socialise, have a coffee and meet others.”
One Hysan Avenue is relatively unique with its spacious balcony, in the heart of the district. “The area gives members a place to have lunch, catch up with friends and neighbours and relax away from their desks,” Oscar tells me. “We are installing a lot of subtle features and high-quality facilities for events, but areas such as the balcony focus more on the community. It’s people who bring the energy, the colour to the place.