A backstage look at the future-facing Spaces Westerpark

Spaces Westerpark is a hot new coworking location in Amsterdam’s creative quarter west of the city centre, with innovative facilities and ‘furnitecture’ to support hybrid working.

Imagine if the things you needed for both a successful career and thriving social life were only 15 minutes away… According to the 15-Minute City school of thought, this should be our blueprint for a better work-life balance, for boosting local economies and for cutting our collective carbon footprint. And the new Spaces Westerpark in Amsterdam is engineered to support this smarter social structure – and to help more companies make the move to hybrid working.

Hybrid working is about the freedom to work more flexibly. It’s about creating a model where we can divide our working hours between our homes, our company’s headquarters and a flexible workspace in our neighbourhood – enjoying the benefits of all three. And it’s also about keeping things more local, empowering people to work closer to their social and cultural community.

Amsterdam’s Westerpark district is ideal for combining personal and professional passions, with its thriving clusters of creative businesses, cool restaurants and bars, green space and a regular line-up of festivals and art exhibitions. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the game-changing facilities at Spaces Westerpark, and how its geared up for the hybrid workforce.

‘Furnitecture’ – innovating the humble work desk

This is Spaces, and basic, boring, uninspired design isn’t an option. Instead, the new Open Desk concept is a clever, eco-friendly, attractive workstation that’s in step with how we’ve all become used to working – never too far away from home.

Spaces Westerpark is the first Spaces location in Europe to utilise Open Desk. Launched at Spaces Napa Valley in California earlier this year, it’s the brainchild of better space; better people – strategic design partner for IWG, the company that owns Spaces – and was built in collaboration with furniture company Lensvelt.

Made from carefully chosen materials to minimise waste, Open Desk is like having your own room within a room, a piece of furniture-cum-architecture – ‘furnitecture’, if you will. It has a self-contained, yet open feel complete with a wall of shelves you can deck out with pot plants, books and photo frames, which gives off seriously comfy vibes, as if you’re sitting in your own living room.

Strategically placed textile-covered panels create privacy and absorb sound, with a pastel colour palette to help you feel calm and focused. “Inside the Open Desk itself, you’ll find a premium height-adjustable desk with an ergonomic task chair, plus a locker to stow away your stuff, a seat cushion to welcome a colleague for a brief talk, and a cork panel board to maybe pin up a memento or a note left behind for the next user,” says Rabia Zuberi, interior architect for bs;bp.

Cocoons of collaboration

Spaces is thrilled to have partnered with experiential workspace innovators Steelcase to come up with impactful ways for remote workers to collaborate at Spaces Westerpark. There are two main set-ups for teams to choose from: a hybrid collaboration mode (with a circular workspace layout for virtually collaborating with remote workers) and a group work mode (where furniture is laid out to facilitate group creativity). Steelcase has also helped Spaces create the multifunctional social workspaces with super cool tent pods where people can take private calls, focus on solo work or take a break.

Inspiring displays of innovation

Spaces is passionate about how space can be optimised and sharing new knowledge in the design realm with members. So, a stunning display is being installed in the business lounge of Spaces Westerpark, dedicated to inspiring guests about the future of textiles via the work of global design company Kvadrat. Through storytelling, asking questions and sharing findings about how being confined indoors is reshaping the way we inhabit space, Kvadrat’s display is a creative way of supporting the growth of hybrid working.

Staying in tune with natural rhythms

It’s a proven fact that biophilic design (which mimics nature) helps us function better at work. Research shows that access to natural light and views improves our mood and energy levels, comfort, quality of sleep and our health and wellbeing in general, which is why natural light is the primary sought-after attribute of a workplace environment. According to research firm Future Workplace, employees say that access to natural light and views improves their overall happiness and wellbeing (78%), work satisfaction (73%) and work performance (70%).

Natural light and darkness give our body clocks essential time cues to stay in sync with the outside world – which is why Spaces has partnered with NatureConnect by Signify to bring the benefits of natural light indoors at Westerpark. Its lighting replicates the daily rhythm of the sun, creating comfortable, engaging and attractive environments to enhance our community’s wellbeing.

A dancing office

With a hybrid model of work, working from a local flexible workspace delivers time for face-to-face collaboration and informally sharing ideas. To encourage this, Spaces Westerpark has teamed up with Vitra to incorporate its club office concept (not quite as it sounds…). This lets teams experiment with different office set-ups, thanks to a ‘dancing wall’ that can travel on wheels around the workspace, complete with a whiteboard and a presentation screen – so it can be used to invite collaboration from team members hanging out in soft seating areas, or the kitchen – for impromptu brainstorming. Members of Spaces Westerpark will also experience pre-loved, high-quality furniture that’s been upcycled and given a second life as part of the brand’s Vitra Circle commitment to sustainability.

Digital artwork from Niio

Forget generic screensavers or boring photograph slideshows. Public screens in communal areas of flexible office spaces are touchpoints for inspiring creativity and getting people talking. In keeping with its locale in Amsterdam’s creative quarter, Spaces Westerpark features mind-blowing digital artwork on its communal screens, supplied by digital art curating platform, Niio, which inspires enthusiasts with pieces from more than 6,000 contributing artists, leading galleries and museums.

Curated playlists via the tap of your phone

Picking the perfect playlist instantly sets the right mood for parties, events, retail environments and more – and a productive working environment is no exception. At Spaces Westerpark, Kollekt FM has curated no fewer than seven custom Spotify playlists, which users can access by using their phone to scan wall stickers at different areas of the workspace. In the quiet zone, for example, you’ll find a ‘Hyper Focus’ playlist full of jazzy beats and soothing vocals, and there’s even a ‘Royal Flush’ playlist waiting in the toilets – an upbeat medley of disco, funk and pop.

Switch off Space

The Switch off Space by Beddery is a place where members can retreat for some privacy to recharge. Here, they can take a few minutes of downtime to relax, stretch, nap, listen to e-books or meditate. Designed with emotional rest in mind, the space will stay at a comfortable temperature, have minimalist furnishings, and dimmable lighting to create a restful vibe.

Find a Spaces location near you to join the hybrid working movement and benefit from our cutting edge, top-quality workspace facilities.

Enjoy this? You might also like these Spaces magazine stories:

Five expert tips for kick-starting your freelance career

How to create effective work-life boundaries

Share this article
How to build resilience at work in 2022 Read now How to build resilience at work in 2022 Making Spaces for Culture: Art Read now Making Spaces for Culture: Art