We knew about coworking, these shared work spaces that are meeting with such success. Now it’s time for “cohoming”, a new way of working in good company ……without leaving your home. So as not to work alone and to avoid queues, tenants set up shared telework spaces in their homes. Is this a way of boosting creativity and reducing city congestion? The experiment is being conducted for the first time in Brussels in the The Horizon towers in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. A project of 167 apartments – developed by Home Invest Belgium – that has been home to its first tenants since this summer.
“In the city, the best definition of the private space is “functional”. It is neither too small nor too big. But cunning enough to feel really good in it, Sophie Lambrighs, CEO of Home Invest Belgium explains. For this project, we converted obsolete buildings into quality homes.” Result: 167 modular apartments, with guestrooms, 30% communal space and adapted services. “For example, there is a dropbox system for having orders, clean laundry or supermarket shopping delivered. There is also a soundproofed music rehearsal room, a pool room and a kitchen garden on the roof” the CEO explains.
Everything has been laid on, discreetly, to promote social interaction. But also a more reasoned approach to mobility. Thus, to discourage the use of the private car, the developer has provided a fleet of shared cars and bicycles. “And as there are a lot of small business bosses and self-employed people among our tenants, we have also provided shared telework spaces” Toon Haverals, Chief Development Officer explains. At the base of the towers, the spaces are adapted to the different work modes, individual or collective, nomadic or sedentary. Among the flex-desks, the shared offices, the professional printers and waiting lounges, a meeting room has been fitted, in which tenants can hold their work meetings. “In this building, everything has been designed to promote interaction, proximity and transparency. It’s a new way of re-using the city, Toon Haverals explains. All this, without any other expenses than the rent and the cleaning costs.” It’s also a good way to network: starting out as floor mates, “cohomers” can end their working day with potential future plans to work together.
© Y Glavie
Tags: architecture, Brussels, cohomers, coworking, Mobility, The Horizon