Collaboration and engagement are at the heart of Covo, a coworking space led by a husband, wife + brother team in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood. So when beginning to design their multilevel space, they needed an environment that reflected that sense of community.
“There were a lot of competing needs that went into the final design,” says Daniel Brian of Covo. “We needed the space to be capable of holding a high number of members, but we didn't want it to feel cramped. We wanted the main floor to be highly reconfigurable, but not at the expense of making it an uncomfortable work environment. And we wanted the space to be open to all, but not at the expense of security for our monthly members.”
Working together, we opted for a varied mix of open lounge seating, dedicated desking and office seating. Our Industrial Benching maximized space by providing workstations for a high number of people without overpowering the open floor plan. Seating of various heights—from our John Vogel and Slope Bar Stools to our sofas and wing-back ancillary seating—provide spaces for different types of work at different times.
“We steered clear of ‘standard’ practices for office spaces—which give much more space to each of their users—in favor of a target 30 inches per person,” said Daniel. “We’ve found that in co-working, people don't need as much personal space as they need in the office environment.”
Similarly, the Covo team favored tables able to seat 4 or more people with the belief that their members would make better use of larger tables, since two strangers may not choose to work side-by-side at a 2-person table.
The Covo team smartly created custom planter-box barriers that they’re able to move around their space when the coffee shop transitions to a bar atmosphere.
Design of Covo's three-level coworking space in San Francisco's Mission district. Mixed-use spaces were created to meet different needs at different times.
“By making the main floor more social, we’re able to create a culture where the other two floors are more work-focused,” said Daniel. “We also added 13 phone booths and six conference rooms for people can take calls or collaborate without disturbing each other, while keeping the rest of the space more open and community-focused.”
The result: a multifunctional, blended space incorporating residential and hospitality influences to make its members feel at home—even at work.