Coworking in Baltimore Has Never Been More Beautiful by Cat Thomas
Just a few blocks away from North Avenue, CoLab has a central location in the city’s Old Goucher neighborhood. Walk into the shared workspace and you’re greeted by a flood of natural light bouncing off of vibrant colors; the building is loft-like, spacious, and airy with modern lines that compliment the industrial aesthetic that remains after the 1950s-era factory renovation.
Formerly an insurance building, CoLab is now home to a talented range of Baltimore business owners and nonprofits including Bikemore, Matter, Graphic Design & Branding, Forsyth Construction, and K. Hamill.
Managed by 33:D Architects Phillip Jones and Megan Elcrat, the pair are invested in CoLab wholeheartedly. Their goal? “To successfully work communally and fully operational.” With hopes to “attract longer-term clients and lessees”, they understand there’s still room for growth in the city and they’re happy to be a part of it. Finding balance and settling into the space is their focus for now.
Offering 1-year, short-term, and monthly leases, CoLab gives potential tenants plenty of workspace options. When asked why coworking works, Elcrat says, “We designed this project to act as a perfect touchdown space for those who telecommute, work in the field and need a home base, and also to appeal to sole practitioners and small groups… Our floor plans and pricing are designed with the modern creative, nonprofit and small business person in mind.”
“Whether someone is conducting research, having a private video call with a client, meeting for a group presentation, or in the creative zone, we have considered the space to help people maintain productivity, even when that means taking a coffee break to recharge,” he continues. “As architects by trade, Phil and I took lessons learned from all the other places we have worked and tried to leave no stone unturned when it comes to the facility’s amenities and design.”
Highlights of the space include the breathtaking artwork of Alyssa Dennis on display in the reception area; it adds a soft golden glow to an already well-lit room. A renovated vault now serves as a video conference or small meeting space and while the buildings garage doors still exist, they now work to combine the main conference room and kitchen/break room to allow for larger meetings.
With multiple break-out areas, free wifi throughout the building, and wired internet at each workstation, there’s room for everyone to conduct their day-to-day. A printer, copier, and scanner are available and if you’re in need of extra storage, there’s rentable space to store your items.
Additional perks of being a CoLab tenant include secure bike parking inside and outside of the building, handicap-accessible restrooms with shower and baby-changing table, private pump/lactation room with sink and freezer, and free coffee. Future plans will incorporate rotating art shows and a public, inhouse architecture and design bookstore. Regardless of work status, Jones and Elcrat’s focus on building and engaging a community of people is evident.
Author and Photographer Cat Thomas is a designer and illustrator from the DMV. She is currently finishing up her BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
For more information, visit www.colabbaltimore.com.