Coworking For Creative People: London Edition
Similar to New York, London is a powerhouse of a city. There is an overdrive of hustling, bustling and in-between there are conversations, artisanal meals and drip coffees. In today’s commercial real estate markets, coworking continues to thrive throughout all industries. Customized offices are booming allowing startups and small businesses to grow their business. What does coworking mean for say a creative freelancer? More freedom, simple as that. Free to roam, free to explore, experiment, network, learn, create and if the environment is just right, to collaborate. Welcome to the age of coworking, where the coffee is free and the conversations are productive.
Along with the 5 coworking offices spotlighted below, we interviewed Laura Davies, the Co-Work Manager at The Ramp to tell us what makes a great coworking space.
Choose 3 words to describe The Ramp.
Creative, collaborative, community.
What is a close to average day at The Ramp?
A day at The Ramp starts at the kettle! Saying good morning to fellow members and making pots of coffee (we use Change Please coffee which is an awesome local social enterprise that trains homeless people to become baristas). Then we disperse to our desks to get on with work - be that illustrating a children's book, writing a novel, designing a school, building a website, organising events, working on a social enterprise or planning social media. Lunch usually involves a trip upstairs to our street food kiosks, think delicious Kurdish mezze from Nandine, spicy sesame noodles and dumplings from Hao Hao Chi or a plate of lentil dhal from Wildflower. It's hard to resist with so many amazing choices just upstairs. Once a month it might be a day for a Member's Lunch, where a chosen vendor from the building actually delivers us lunch in The Ramp for everyone to enjoy together! Then it's back to work (usually via the kettle to pick up a cuppa and have a quick chat). The afternoon may involve meetings in our Meeting Room, or chats around the table to discuss projects members are working on together (there are plenty of skills to be shared here!). On a Friday we gather again at the end of the day to have a beer and relax.
Coworking offers the freedom of mobility and opportunity to collaborate. What's a true example of that that you've seen or experienced at The Ramp?
There are heaps of examples of this at The Ramp as we're a creative community that loves to collaborate! Our members work together on start ups, building apps, marketing their newest products or on giving their charity a boost. We have a Member's Wall which profiles each and every member along with their skills and specialities, so it's easy to know who to go to when you need help. And that in itself was a collaboration, with graphic designers from The Ramp coming together to design the format of the Wall.
What are some cool things happening in your neighbourhood?
Peckham was recently voted the 11th hippest neighbourhood in the World so there are plenty of cool things happening here! In Peckham Levels itself, we have a heap of amazing residents. Including gal-dem, an online and print magazine written by women of colour and non binary people of colour and who are making waves throughout London with their magazine, events and more. There's also Intoart, a visual arts charity who work with people with learning disabilities, and who have just launched their debut fashion line in collaboration with the legendary British knitwear brand John Smedley. At Peckham Levels, you only have to step inside the doors to discover something cool going on.
Why do you think good design has to go hand in hand with coworking spaces?
Without good design, a cowork space can't function efficiently. The Ramp is designed to be a place that people want to come to in the morning, and in which they can be productive and drive their businesses forwards! The space is inviting and in keeping with the car park setting, using materials such as OSB and ply to create bespoke furniture and desks that suit the location. We have local carpenters who work with us to continually revise and improve the space based on member's feedback and suggestions. Our latest addition comes in the form of acoustically lined telephone booths - which are perfect for taking important phone calls or video conference calls! And we have a project underway to transform the corridor space, using the skills of a co-work member who is a Spatial Designer. The Ramp is constantly evolving, fed by member feedback and ideas that we as a community of creative freelancers and small businesses come up with.
HUCKLETREE 📍 LONDON, DUBLIN 📱 @HUCKLETREE
A community for the curious. “Where creativity meets talent and curiosity inspires innovation.” Huckletree has three locations in London and one in Dublin, each spot servicing and curating to the right demographics. The HKT office in Clerkenwell is known for being one of the first creative workspaces in London in the design district overlooking Smithfield Market. Thus, lunch decisions are rarely a head scratcher.
4 membership plans: Light, Unlimited, Resident and Studio
Light: no commitments, come in 10 days a month making this ideal for freelancers. From £250.00/mo
Unlimited: hot deskers, all access £350/mo
Resident: dedicated desk comes w/mail and monthly credits allotted for meeting room times.
£ 500/ mo
Studio: Your own private space, ideal for small teams up to 3 people. £600/mo
tons of natural light
transportation walking distance
Wellness Program: hip-hop yoga, mass meditation and everything in-between.
SHED 📍 SHOREDITCH 📱 @SHEDLONDON
Located in East London, opposite Haggerston Overground, Shed is a readily available space for photographers and creative freelancers with onsite photog studio and work desks. Shed is the only coworking space which offers three premium fully equip video, e-com and fashion photography studios on site. Along with survival craft roasted coffee, members enjoy Crosstown Doughnuts, and a curated selection of natural and biodynamic wines.
2 types of workspaces:
Workspace 1: Office space / dedicated desk
Workspace 2: open plan desks - starts at £150/mo
open plan office
premium on site Photography Studios
regular social meet-up’s
PROTEIN STUDIOS 📍 SHOREDITCH 📱 @PROTEINSTUDIOS
A unique and fully loaded coworking and event space in the heart of Shoreditch. Protein Studios really caters to fashion, design, artists and media. Its event space has hosted some pretty major brands like Adidas and Highsnobiety. When there’s ample space to throw parties and events, being community oriented comes naturally, keeping members afloat with local happenings.
Flexi desk, which you have to inquire for pricing. Assuming this most likely works as a hot desk variation.
Fixed Desk £375/mo
discounted rates on event spaces
unlimited meeting rooms access
fully equipped kitchen
DE BEAUVOIR BLOCK 📍 HACKNEY 📱 @DEBEAUVOIRBLOCK
Better known as The Block, the pink-hued rows of this Edwardian warehouse in East London has transformed itself into a design dream for multi-tasking midcentury minimalists. The Block is “a space to create” designed to feel like a neighbourhood with very cool neighbours, one being Alexa Chung and her growing business Alexachung to name a few.
Casual Membership offering access to the café, communal area and private courtyard. You will also have the ability to book an on-site meeting room. £100 + VAT per month
Exclusive Membership has same offerings as Casual Membership, but with your own dedicated desk space. Your desk will be located in a separate unit offering 24/7 access and lockable storage. £300 + VAT per month
all-day on-site cafe
gated community w/cctv
THE RAMP 📍 SOUTH LONDON 📱 @PECKHAMLEVELS
The Ramp at Peckham Levels is so much more than coworking. Not only does it offer dedicated workspaces for small teams and creative freelancers, but it’s seven levels of maker spaces including eateries and wellness facilities.
2 memberships available: Dedicated desk and hot desk, click here to schedule a tour and for pricings.
locker and bike storage