Leeser Architecture transforms Brooklyn factory into colourful co-working space

| 2 comments

New York-based Leeser Architecture has inserted angular and brightly coloured stairwells into an ageing industrial building in Brooklyn to create a vibrant office for creative professionals and entrepreneurs (+ slideshow).

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

Encompassing 47,000 square feet (4,330 square metres), the Coworkrs facility is located in Gowanus, an industrial neighbourhood where new artist studios, restaurants and condo buildings have all emerged in recent years.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

Leeser Architecture was charged with transforming the underused factory into a three-storey work-share facility that would accommodate creative professionals, nonprofit organisations, tech startups and other individuals and businesses looking to rent desks or private offices.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

The programme includes communal work zones and enclosed offices, along with a lobby, kitchen and dining areas, conference rooms, a lounge, and a rooftop terrace. There are more than 500 desks in total.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

To create visual continuity, the firm used brightly coloured angular forms throughout the building, most notably to enclose stairways that connect each floor.



Referencing origami, the stairwells feature sharp folds and bright colours – Yves Klein blue on the exterior and teal on the interior.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

On one floor, the backside of the stairs – a space not often utilised – merges with a large communal table.

"The bold metal feature folds into varying functional purposes, creating communal spaces within its dynamic form," said the firm.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

To delineate communal areas and circulation routes, the firm embedded bands of light in the flooring. Recessed lighting is also incorporated into cabinetry.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

Enclosed offices are located on the perimeter of each floor, with communal areas situated in the centre.

On the top level, a glass-walled conference level anchors the light-filled space. On the lowest level, which is partly below grade, a long skylight ushers in natural light and creates a sense of openness.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

The facility is fitted with a mix of contemporary and vintage furnishings, along with custom tables and artwork by New York-based artists.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture

The firm retained original concrete and wood flooring to help preserve the space's industrial character.

"The design maintains the building's original 'rawness' with exposed joists, original brickwork and even graffiti," the firm said.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture
Photograph by Keziban Barry

Other innovative co-working facilities include a space in Barcelona with pods made of yellow chipboard and a Google co-working facility inside an old battery factory in Madrid.

Photography is by Leeser Architects via Kontor, unless stated otherwise.

Coworking space by Leeser Architecture
Basement floor plan north – click for larger image
Coworking space by Leeser Architecture
Basement floor plan south – click for larger image
Coworking space by Leeser Architecture
Ground floor plan north – click for larger image
Coworking space by Leeser Architecture
First floor plan south – click for larger image
Coworking space by Leeser Architecture
Second floor plan north – click for larger image
Coworking space by Leeser Architecture
Second floor plan west – click for larger image
  • AdamW

    This is just the right side of tasteful and so much better than Google-type offices with stupid slides that nobody with any dignity would ever use.

  • john w

    Aand by colourful you mean a blue staircase?