Many businesses in the region, including The Work Project, The Great Room, GoWork and Kr Space, are vying to cater to growing demand among budding entrepreneurs
Co-working space providers are in fierce competition to gain dominance in their relevant markets as remote and flexible working becomes ever more popular.
Among the plethora of providers across the region, check out our pick of the eight brands with the most beautiful co-working spaces in north- and southeast Asia.
The Work Project, Hong Kong
Stepping into the premises of The Work Project gives you the feeling you are entering a high-end hotel.
That luxurious ambience – emphasised by its high-ceilinged areas and sculptural meeting rooms – can be found across all five of its locations – one in Midtown, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong and four in Singapore.
This isn’t surprising since the team behind The Work Project are former hotel professionals who have adopted the values and standards of the industry and applied them to workspace interiors.
It also offers a distinctive scent specially created for enhancing concentration, focus music and bespoke tea, which reportedly helps with clarity and concentration.
Launched in Hong Kong in 2016, The Work Project plans to open further locations in Tokyo, Japan, and Sydney and Melbourne, in Australia, in the next two years.
The Great Room, One George Street, Singapore
The Great Room, another co-working space with the ambience of a hotel, was launched in 2016 in Singapore.
Its premises give off an atmosphere reminiscent of a classic British library or the lounge of a stately, five-star hotel thanks to the use of dark wood, and black and gold colours throughout.
The co-working space has been designed by Hassell, the leading architectural firm behind the Manhattan Bar, Atlas Bar and the hotel Regent Singapore.
The Great Room’s walls are adorned with a curated art collection.
Special blends of coffee, made fresh by in-house baristas, are offered at the Monday Breakfast Club, while an evening trolley offers hot chocolate and cookies at the end of the day.
The Great Room is available in three locations in Singapore, with a fourth to open at the hotel Raffles Singapore this summer.
It recently launched its first overseas location in the Thai capital, Bangkok, with another coming soon, and opened its first Hong Kong location at One Taikoo Place, in Quarry Bay, on April 11.
WeWork Weihai Lu, Shanghai, China:
La Fayette in Paris, France, is touted as the most beautiful WeWork location in Europe, but Weihai Lu in Shanghai is certainly at the same level.
The premises are perhaps one of the most talked-about WeWork locations across Asia-Pacific among those familiar with the brand.
The New York-based, global co-working space company has transformed what was once an opium factory into a beautifully designed, high-ceilinged open area for budding entrepreneurs.
The main co-working area, approachable immediately from the entrance, is the photogenic spot, where you can view the green-painted steel structure and staircase that weaves up the building.
Most of WeWork’s locations have a similar vibe, but this one truly stands out from the rest.
Hyundai Card Studio Black, Seoul, South Korea
Hyundai Card Studio Black is the one and only co-working space launched by Hyundai Card, a credit card company which is part of the Korean conglomerate, Hyundai Motor Group.
Studio Black undoubtedly reflects the aesthetic characteristics of Hyundai Card – stylish and minimalistic.
Living up to its name, black is used as the theme colour throughout the co-working space.
The area reflects the brand’s aim of standing out among luxury co-working spaces in the local market, while the colour hints at its VVIP card, “Hyundai Card Black”.
The layout of the lounge area resembles that of a boutique hotel library, with the walls lined with a carefully selected range of books from Hyundai Card’s design, travel, cooking and music library collections.
Spaces: Hong Kong
Spaces is a co-working space brand rising as an industry rival to WeWork but targeting slightly higher-end clients. Its calm and sophisticated design attracts professionals in an older age group than its competitor.
Spaces’ heavy use of natural wood in its interior and abundance of plants inside the lounge spaces creates a bright and clean, environmentally friendly vibe.
Perhaps because of these features, the air inside Spaces feel fresh, unlike some co-working spaces that seem stifling.
Rather than offering different styled locations, Spaces keeps the same simple and minimalistic design in all of its 200 locations in 115 cities.
Founded in Amsterdam in 2006, Spaces is part of IWG, the global workspace provider which has several brands under its wing such as Regus, No18, Openoffice, Basepoint and Signature.
It kick-started its global expansion into Asia with Singapore in 2016 and now has 38 locations in Northeast and Southeast Asia. Its co-working spaces in five Hong Kong locations are the largest and newest in Asia.
Kr Space: Beijing, China
The Beijing-based company, Kr Space, has been busy “defending” its home market from the growing presence of its global competitor, WeWork, as mainland China’s largest co-working space provider.
It launched in the nation’s capital in 2016 and now can be found in 11 cities on the mainland.
It recently ventured into Hong Kong, with its second location in the city set to open in Wan Chai by the end of the year.
Kr Space’s locations have a casual yet sophisticated vibe – similar to that of WeWork – but the local brand offers different interior styles, based on a range of price options, including those that look like a university library to others that resemble the lounge of a boutique hotel.
Among Kr Space’s Beijing offerings, International Building Haixia is one of its best designed – and highest-priced.
The company also plans to open locations in Bangkok, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.
Common Ground, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Launched in 2017, the Malaysian co-working space company, Common Ground, offers 18 locations across Malaysia and Philippines and is preparing to open its first Thai location in Bangkok soon.
Common Ground’s offices are a little cheaper than its global competitors, but its office design doesn’t fall behind those of its rivals.
The brand offers “Instagrammable” locations with plush interiors similar to those of boutique hotels.
The co-working space takes its inspiration from its Southeast Asian location by offering a tropical vibe to its design with features such as palm trees and rattan chairs.
Its high-ceilinged Bukit Bintang co-working space offers fine views looking out across Kuala Lumpur.
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GoWork, Jakarta, Indonesia
GoWork, Indonesia’s largest co-working space provider, currently offers 16 locations in the capital, Jakarta, and the island of Bali.
Like Common Ground, it is known for its “Instagrammable” locations.
The interiors of its office space, which have the feel of a boutique hotel, or high-end cafe, have been created in partnership with Ismaya Group, an Indonesian lifestyle and food and beverage brand.
Created using in chic decor, GoWork’s venues are situated in prime locations.
The most popular and well designed offerings are inside Jakarta’s three luxury malls, Pacific Place, Plaza Indonesia, and Senayan City.
GoWork, which was founded in 2016, is rapidly expanding to second-tier cities, but has no plans to expand internationally just yet.
Note – This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website