Lokaal Coworking

A vibrant and inspiring coworking space becomes a knowledge sharing incubator for creative entrepreneurs.

As the nature of work becomes increasingly more flexible- with forty percent of the workforce being comprised of freelancers, temps and contractors by 2020-professional environments are adapting to new modes of production. For individuals working in more creative fields a traditional office model does not accommodate for a more generative project flow. However, working from home offers its own challenges with isolation and a lack of community being big drawbacks and impairments. Coworking spaces offer a hybrid environment with the freedom of freelance work combined with the structure and community of an office.

Lokaal is a boutique coworking space situated in Toronto’s Corso Italia neighbourhood aimed at providing a shared space for creative entrepreneurs who want to belong to and work in a collaborative environment filled with other talented minds. Located in a refurbished early 20th century building, the design combines the building’s original features with a distinctive Scandinavian aesthetic. The existing exposed red brick wall was retained and carefully restored, providing a muted contrast to the newly installed, sustainably sourced, light maple wood flooring. While the crisp white walls and charcoal grey door frames and partitions introduce a bolder graphic quality. Brightly coloured light fixtures and graphics introduce a playfulness to the space without becoming overwhelming. While the telephone booth, offering acoustic privacy for taking calls, is characterized by its wallpapered interior depicting a delicate black line drawing by artist Abigail Edwards.

Lokaal’s facilities include a shared space, private offices, a meeting room, large kitchen, and lounge, and are organized in such a way as to accommodate a variety of work-styles- ranging from collaborative to confidential.  Care was taken in creating a separation between work and support spaces, while still designing for programmatic flexibility throughout. The primary work area is defined by its open plan which combines a structured desk setup and a lounge featuring a custom-designed felt light fixture by Catherine Walter of Felt Studio. The large table spanning the length of the room directs your eyes towards the generous windows. Which provide a lookout towards the surrounding neighbourhood and feature an impressive view of one of the Toronto’s architectural gems – the St Clare Roman Catholic Church.

Through a considered design approach, the space encourages collaboration by creating a comfortable and inspiring setting for ideas to flourish. Helping to set the stage for the building of partnerships, collaboration and the sparking of creativity and innovation.

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