As the world warms and climate change becomes one of the most talked-about topics on the global agenda, the way in which we think about the environment – and the role we have to play in sustaining it – is changing fast. From everyday recycling to taking fewer flights, everyone is responsible for the future of our planet and every aspect of our lives is being called into question. Coworking spaces, which reduce the need for offices some, can certainly be seen as part of the solution – but could they do even more? Some like Spaces Tullinløkka in Oslo are showing the way.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Here, amid the gleaming high rises and glistening waterfront of the Norwegian capital, is the latest revolutionary development from Spaces: not content with changing the way we work, we also want to change the way we build – with a structure made from 100% recyclable materials. We’re not talking about a building made out of tin cans and plastic bottles, but from repurposing bits and pieces from demolished buildings and breathing new life into them. The result? An industrial relic from the 1950s turned into a cool flex office space.
The development was spearheaded by building-owner Entra, but it didn’t take long for Spaces to get with the programme and lease the entire eight floors of the property. In addition, the coworking-provider has pledged to continue the eco vibe with a sustainably-minded approach to fittings and fixtures. “This is a very exciting project for us,” says Spaces spokesman Thomas Weeden. “Spaces is committed to helping people live greener lives, so we had no doubt we wanted to be part of this.” The challenge lies in fulfilling the sustainability brief while also making sure the result is unmistakeable Spaces: “We wanted to see if it was possible to trade second-hand – but still be true to our concept,” he adds.
To do this, the Spaces team have committed to sourcing vintage furniture that still looks the part. Comfort and design are key components when it comes down to what makes a Spaces – yet the versatile nature of the brand means there’s room to improvise. “It’s a challenging project because there are always two different things to consider,” says Weeden. “Customers should be in no doubt that they are in a Spaces location but – at the same time – it’s great to capitalise on the uniqueness of this ambitious environmental project.”
the sustainability treatment
Alongside cosmetic concerns, building infrastructure like lighting and ventilation systems were also given the sustainability treatment. And in an industry that can sometimes be all too ready to tear down and start over, considerable thought was given to what might become of the building even post-Spaces. “It should be easy to make interior changes without having to tear down entire floors,” says Weeden. “It also makes it easy for other players to take over the building, should we at some point in the future withdraw.” It’s a refreshing approach that offers hope – and a useful blueprint – to a sector that often comes with a heavy carbon footprint. “We need to think about long-term solutions to become more sustainable in this industry,” he affirms.
With the cry for more sustainable buildings growing ever louder, flexible workspace can be at the forefront of inspiring change. And as far as office space in Oslo goes, Spaces Tullinløkka provides a first-rate example of a workable solution – one that proves sustainable entrepreneurship doesn’t have to mean draughty doors and hempy hallways. No matter where a Spaces can be found – or even what it’s made of – the overriding principles remain: to provide customers with a great day at work, from morning right through to evening. If the joint happens to be the last word in sustainability too, then we’ve got no problem with that.
Want to be part of the past and the future at Spaces Tullinløkka? Check out the location page for more information.