Number Five: A Co-Working Space in Venice Beach
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The space is shared by Paul Anderson, Mathew Gerson, Brett Woitunski and Domenica Peterson (a charity has taken space recently as well). Anderson and Woitunski work together on branding, design and consulting projects through Yardwork Co. and are currently developing a line of blankets called Campover. Gerson “chases ideas down and occasionally turns them into viable businesses” (his last venture was Sir Richard's Condoms.) Peterson sews couture clothing and runs a non­profit called Global Action Through Fashion working to create a more equitable and sustainable world through fashion. 

The Number Five co-working space is shared by Paul Anderson and Brett Woitunski of Yardwork Co., Mathew Gerson, who turns ideas into viable businesses (his last venture was Sir Richard’s Condoms), and Domenica Peterson, a couture seamstress who also runs the nonprofit Global Action Through Fashion. Photo by Marc Alt

The Number Five co-working space is shared by Paul Anderson and Brett Woitunski of Yardwork Co., Mathew Gerson, who turns ideas into viable businesses (his last venture was Sir Richard’s Condoms), and Domenica Peterson, a couture seamstress who also runs the nonprofit Global Action Through Fashion. Photo by Marc Alt

Venice has always been a community that embraces art, grit and anything that’s a bit rough around the edges. This, Anderson and Woitunski say, has always been the foundation of the local culture and the way people have created their spaces in the area. “In general,” they say, “we wanted to create a space that would embrace all of this in an intentional and useful way.”

The bartop downstairs was salvaged from a church that was being torn down in the Southbay. Mathew Gerson, Brett Woitunsky and Paul Anderson built the bartop, and the steel legs are by Matthew Deters of Deterfabrik, a furniture fabricator who works in the space below Number Five. The post and beam holding it up are from the teardown across the alley. The steel/leather swoop chair and drop light are also built by Deters. Photo by Yardwork Co.

The bartop downstairs was salvaged from a church that was being torn down in the Southbay. Mathew Gerson, Brett Woitunsky and Paul Anderson built the bartop, and the steel legs are by Matthew Deters of Deterfabrik, a furniture fabricator who works in the space below Number Five. The post and beam holding it up are from the teardown across the alley. The steel/leather swoop chair and drop light are also built by Deters. Photo by Yardwork Co.

As they moved into the space, Anderson and Woitunski started transforming it to appeal to a more refined, yet rustic aesthetic. “Most of the core structure; including the industrial stairs, lofted area and railings were here,” they say, “but all of the walls were painted flat gray. It felt a little like a big, cave­like storage area, but the unique structure gave us a really good starting point. The previous tenants were steel fabricators, so there was an inherent industrial feel to the elements they had installed.”

On the lower level of the space, Swedish designer Arne Norell’s "Ari" chair, designed in 1966, can be found on one of the common areas. Photo by Yardwork Co.

 

Woitunski and Anderson say. “We’re surrounded by a lot of artists, furniture makers, and an underground restaurant, so it’s an unconventional space to work, but definitely inspiring. If anything else, it’s a great place to get critical feedback on things we are working on.” Photo by Marc Alt

Woitunski and Anderson say. “We’re surrounded by a lot of artists, furniture makers, and an underground restaurant, so it’s an unconventional space to work, but definitely inspiring. If anything else, it’s a great place to get critical feedback on things we are working on.” Photo by Marc Alt

Transforming a space on the fly with virtually no budget is no easy feat, but proved to be an interesting creative challenge. “We wanted to get the space up and running quickly to be able to work and host meetings and events. The time and budgetary constraints made for solid creative urgency it actually helped us make decisions throughout the process. We also needed a way to make the space feel warmer, considering both the cold industrial elements and the lack of heat in the winter, so we used burlap fabric on a couple of the walls to create a sense of warmth and softness. The different textures really transformed the feeling of the space, but also help hide some of the more unsightly pipes and hardware. 

Much of the material used in the two-level space is reclaimed, from construction sites in the neighborhood (sometimes the result of dumpster diving excursions), flea markets and online resale sites. Photo by Marc Alt

Much of the material used in the two-level space is reclaimed, from construction sites in the neighborhood (sometimes the result of dumpster diving excursions), flea markets and online resale sites. Photo by Marc Alt

 

Venice has always been a community that embraces art, grit and anything that’s a bit rough around the edges. This, Anderson and Woitunski say, has always been the foundation of the local culture and the way people have created their spaces in the area. Photo by Marc Alt

Venice has always been a community that embraces art, grit and anything that’s a bit rough around the edges. This, Anderson and Woitunski say, has always been the foundation of the local culture and the way people have created their spaces in the area. Photo by Marc Alt

Furniture fabricator Matthew Deters of Deterfabrik works in the space below and helped execute several of the projects and designed a custom leather and steel chair for the space. Gerson also brought in a few family heirloom pieces that fit really well into the eclectic style.

Transforming a space on the fly with virtually no budget is no easy feat, but proved to be an interesting creative challenge. “We wanted to get the space up and running quickly to be able to work and host meetings and events,” Anderson and Woitunsky say. “The time and budgetary constraints made for solid creative urgency it actually helped us make decisions throughout the process.” Photo by Yardwork Co.

Transforming a space on the fly with virtually no budget is no easy feat, but proved to be an interesting creative challenge. “We wanted to get the space up and running quickly to be able to work and host meetings and events,” Anderson and Woitunsky say. “The time and budgetary constraints made for solid creative urgency it actually helped us make decisions throughout the process.” Photo by Yardwork Co.

 

“The old wood from the surrounding structures has much more character than anything you can buy new,” say Yardwork Co’s Anderson and Woitunsky. “We’re thrifty so we love doing it, but it’s also nice to know that this stuff is getting used again.” Photo by Marc Alt

“The old wood from the surrounding structures has much more character than anything you can buy new,” say Yardwork Co’s Anderson and Woitunsky. “We’re thrifty so we love doing it, but it’s also nice to know that this stuff is getting used again.” Photo by Marc Alt

Much of the material used is reclaimed, from construction sites in the neighborhood (sometimes the result of dumpster diving excursions), flea markets and online resale sites. “The old wood from the surrounding structures has much more character than anything you can buy new. We’re thrifty so we love doing it, but it’s also nice to know that this stuff is getting used again.”

The Number Five space has plenty of common areas for creative collaboration, including a “library” on the upper level. The railings around the mezzanine are built by Matthew Deters, a furniture fabricator who works in the space below and often creates custom pieces for Yardwork Co’s projects. Photo by Yardwork Co.

The Number Five space has plenty of common areas for creative collaboration, including a “library” on the upper level. The railings around the mezzanine are built by Matthew Deters, a furniture fabricator who works in the space below and often creates custom pieces for Yardwork Co’s projects. Photo by Yardwork Co.

 

In the same way that Venice embraces an eclectic mix of old and new, the creators of the Number Five space wanted to blend these neighborhood aspects to form a space that would express and embrace this “in an intentional and useful way.” Photo by Marc Alt

In the same way that Venice embraces an eclectic mix of old and new, the creators of the Number Five space wanted to blend these neighborhood aspects to form a space that would express and embrace this “in an intentional and useful way.” Photo by Marc Alt

The space is constantly evolving, and the intention is to make Number Five come alive and as a neighborhood hub for creative collaboration. “With our partner Mathew Gerson we’ve created a community meeting and workspace,” Woitunski and Anderson say. “We’re surrounded by a lot of artists, furniture makers, and an underground restaurant, so it’s an unconventional space to work, but definitely inspiring. If anything else, it’s a great place to get critical feedback on things we are working on.”

The space is constantly evolving, and the intention is to make Number Five come alive and as a neighborhood hub for creative collaboration. Photo by Yardwork Co.

The space is constantly evolving, and the intention is to make Number Five come alive and as a neighborhood hub for creative collaboration. Photo by Yardwork Co.

 

The shelves in Yardwork Co’s space upstairs are made from wood reclaimed from various sites around Venice. Everything except Woitunsky and Anderson’s desks (which are new plywood and steel) is made from found materials. Photo by Marc Alt

The shelves in Yardwork Co’s space upstairs are made from wood reclaimed from various sites around Venice. Everything except Woitunsky and Anderson’s desks (which are new plywood and steel) is made from found materials. Photo by Marc Alt

“Most of the core structure; including the industrial stairs, lofted area and railings were here,” Anderson and Woitunski say, “but all of the walls were painted flat gray. It felt a little like a big, cavelike storage area, but the unique structure gave us a really good starting point. The previous tenants were steel fabricators, so there was an inherent industrial feel to the elements they had installed.” Photo by Yardwork Co.

“Most of the core structure; including the industrial stairs, lofted area and railings were here,” Anderson and Woitunski say, “but all of the walls were painted flat gray. It felt a little like a big, cavelike storage area, but the unique structure gave us a really good starting point. The previous tenants were steel fabricators, so there was an inherent industrial feel to the elements they had installed.” Photo by Yardwork Co.

Mathew Gerson’s husky is an unofficial member of the Number Five co-working collective in Venice. Photo by Marc Alt

Mathew Gerson’s husky is an unofficial member of the Number Five co-working collective in Venice. Photo by Marc Alt

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