space of the week

Tour Brooklyn’s Coolest New Office Space

The three-level, 47,000-square-foot space is connected by a staircase that wends its way through the floors.
The three-level, 47,000-square-foot space is connected by a staircase that wends its way through the floors.

The open office is hardly new; think of Frank Lloyd Wright’s breathtaking 1930s design of SC Johnson’s headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, with its 22,000-square-foot work arena featuring a forest of slender pillars capped by saucer-shaped tops. Fast-forward to Coworkrs dazzling new co-working space, seen here, which recently opened in Gowanus and was designed by Thomas Leeser.

Photo: Courtesy of Leeser Architecture via Kontor

I first caught wind of the space on Kontor, a Pinterest-like website for offices.

Photo: Courtesy of Leeser Architecture via Kontor

The three-level, 47,000-square-foot space is connected by a staircase that wends its way through the floors, creating fantastic spatial opportunities as it goes. The lavish use of Yves Klein blue was a stretch, initially, for founder and CEO Shlomo Silber, who says, “it took some time, but I became a follower.”

Photo: Courtesy of Leeser Architecture via Kontor

Everywhere you turn, the architecture offers places to hang out or meet with co-workers. This Gowanus branch is the third Coworkrs space in New York (there are two others in the Flatiron and Financial District). Each branch has a different design to mesh with the community it serves.

Photo: Keziban Barry

“Our tagline is ‘At home at work,’” Silber says. The giant kitchen wall certainly adds to the home-away-from-home feel.

Photo: Courtesy of Leeser Architecture via Kontor

“We’ve done lots of office spaces,” Leeser says. “Here, we wanted to keep the industrial bones of the old building — but not in a nostalgic way. We wanted to add interventions to make it work for today.”

Photo: Keziban Barry

There are many different types of work spaces here, some of which can be completely personalized.

Photo: Courtesy of Leeser Architecture via Kontor

Here, murals by the street artist Whisbe create a backdrop for two glass-enclosed conference rooms, a stone’s throw from the meandering staircase that looks different with every step you take.