Coworking in Madrid

DCOLLAB (all pictures taken by Tilman Vogler - tilmanvogler@gmail.com)

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When looking for a coworking space in Madrid, a freelancer, employee or startup should first decide if they want to work in a large or boutique space - or something in between. The Spanish capital offers an array of spaces, dotted all over the city. While there are some coworking spaces that mix all kinds of freelancers, some specializing on particular sectors have also appeared. In addition, incubators and accelerators have emerged in the Madrid entrepreneurial sphere, and though they are rather oriented towards start-ups and innovative companies, one can’t forget the benefits they can bring to any coworker.

Madrid offers a rich and varied coworking scene, with spaces to suit every profession, style and personality.  Many of them developed from shared offices in creative studios. The economic situation, the strong crisis of the real estate industry, and the increasing number of independent workers have painted a scene where architects, creative professionals and freelancers reinvent work spaces, collaboration and communication methods.

Big coworking spaces

utopic_US is the largest and one of the best-known coworking space in Madrid. Having recently opened a second space a matter of meters from the existing location, the ex-textile factories in the La Latina quarter offer space as varied and textured as its members. Aside from a charming workspace, there is ample room for events, concerts, workshops and exhibitions, and a café to boot. Built on the philosophy that the physical space should serve as the embodiment of our social media circles where everyone is transparent, open and collaborative, utopic_US values creative collaboration above all else.

The Hub Madrid is a place for Madrid’s social entrepreneurs to play. Consistent with the international Hub philosophy, the facility has a heavy community focus (also welcoming members who aren’t in the market for a workplace.) In a transformed garage, the space is large and open with a mezzanine level, perfect for the Hub’s busy events calendar.

Work Plaza opened in March this year and is the newest coworking space in Madrid. Located in Goya, one of the most expensive areas in the Spanish capital, Work Plaza is unique in its business model, employing a pay-per-minute system, on top of a low monthly fee. The starting rate will get a coworker a desk with full equipment, including laptop, monitor, keyboard, telephone and ample storage space, at a prestigious address. The flat rate, starting from 135€, rises depending on what equipment a coworker requires; a Mac, for example, costs more than a PC. The office is decked out with state-of-the-art furniture from Herman Miller, for a seriously comfortable and chic working environment.

Boutique coworking spaces in creative studios

A stone’s throw away from the Chueca square, L’Espace Almirante 5 is a cleanly designed, intimate space, offering seven open, yet partitioned, flexible and private workspaces. Its 14 members enjoy unlimited use of the meeting room and a well equipped, quiet environment in the heart of a buzzing quarter. Founders Almudena Esteban and her husband Javier Herencia opened the space in September last year, and are looking to increase membership numbers so that more collaboration can take place.

Noelia Maroto, founder of DCOLLAB, is an interior designer - a fact immediately discernible when entering the boutique coworking space. Located in Malasaña, a quarter notorious for creative freelancers, industrial meets retro and antique chic in this ground-floor space. DCOLLAB fuses event space, exhibition space, and workspace, a mix that its coworkers are encouraged to take full advantage of. Once a fortnight, members participate in Retro Salads, during which they share their projects and track their own and each others’ progress.

Also in Malasaña is El Patio, an intimate coworking space that evolved from the founder’s own multimedia office. Behind the brightly painted garage doors, seven members in creative disciplines work in what feels like someone’s home. The open workspace looks out onto the patio - a rare luxury in Madrid. Thanks to its members’ enthusiasm, César Borregón, co-founder, has plans to renovate part of the space into another workspace, and given the location and feel of the space, the membership spots are sure to go quickly.

Freeland Studio, the only coworking space in the South of Madrid, is one of many to evolve from a shared architectural studio, a fact which influences its focus as a place to cultivate relationships and business growth amongst freelancers from the creative construction industries. This is partly achieved through the partnerships Freeland has established with designers and furniture manufacturers, which display items in the space. Aside from creating an ideal environment for client meetings, coworkers can use these changing pieces as inspiration for their own contracts. The main workspace is open with two-metre long desks, and the private offices are fitted with removable, frosted panels, so retain the sense of openness. The space has been a huge success, with founders Francisco and Ana Camara recently acquiring the building next door, with plans to extend.

Behind an unmarked steel door, Espacio 6B has been in operation for several years, but only recently calling itself coworking. The space is a private architectural office with 12 permanent desks, several of which are on the mezzanine level. Espacio 6B doesn’t host events or workshops, but its members nonetheless have a positive relationship with one another and feel the benefits from working in a shared environment, as one of the members was happy to explain.

Coworking in Incubators/Accelerators

Accelerator Cink Emprende opened in September last year and 30 companies and a handful of coworkers already call it home. The resident startups are the winners of an entrepreneurial competition and work in the space without charge, one one condition: they must collaborate and communicate. This condition fares well for the coworkers, who add to the entrepreneurial environment that defines Cink Emprende (even the secretary, Laura Piñas Calderón, is launching a virtual secretary business). Weekly masterminds, personal coaching, and workshops add to the environment.

Incubator-come-event-come-coworking space garAJE had a broad membership base - around 800 rich - made up of freelancers and entrepreneurs. The community manager, with the help of their virtual network, is active in connecting members with one another for both projects and contracts. Its 30-odd coworking desks, entrepreneur’s library, kitchen and incubation area are housed in an old mechanic’s garage (hence the name). garAJE plays an important role in the wider entrepreneurial community in Madrid.

Concept and creative collaboration spaces

Enfant Terrible is a collaborative work and display space for designers just off Goya. The concept store hires out work and display space where fashion designers, jewellery makers, and cosmetologists can create their designs and then sell them in the boutique. Rocio, the founder, makes a radiant saleswoman, and takes no commission from the designers she hosts. The aim of Enfant Terrible is to create a space for designers where they can share knowledge and experience, and help them sell, grow, and promote their business.

Founded by two architects, Studio Banana is a project-oriented creative collaboration office. Within its eight offices sit 20 members from a range of creative disciplines, admitted according to their expertise, who work both independently and in tandem. Studio Banana aims to be a multicultural and multidisciplinary workplace. Members host workshops and come together on a range of design, architectural, and media projects. They are often equally involved in the studio’s online audiovisual platform, Studio Banana TV, creating concise and succinct podcasts with the aim of connecting art and culture to a global audience. We can also thank Studio Banana for the ostrich, proving their members do understand that work patterns are constantly evolving.

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