Spotlight on Work Spaces That Double as Art Galleries

Spotlight on Work Spaces That Double as Art Galleries

These spaces break the mold of the traditional art gallery, while promoting the artists who furnish them.

Gone are the days of generic office decor—at least for these four innovative spaces. Offices around the world are driving a movement of featuring and/or commissioning local artists to brighten the workplace. In lieu of mass-produced and mainstream prints and pieces, local art featured in office spaces benefits both the people who work there and the artist.

1. Con Artist Collective, New York City

New York's Con Artist Collective rents office space to freelancers looking to increase their creative output with the help of the space's resources—a silkscreen press, easels and worktables, communal storage, a 3D printer, and more. Monthly artist salons and weekly group shows enable artists to network with clients and with each other. Brian Shevlin of Con Artist explains, "It is an artist community, but it's so much more than that—it's a coworking space, it's an artist's just a venue for creative endeavors."

The Con Artist Collective accommodates both artist studio space and art storage with innovative structures.

2. ELL, San Francisco

Recently opened in early 2017, ELL is a multi-purpose gallery and event space that seamlessly transforms into a professional conference area by way of a folding wall. The space showcases art sourced from San Francisco, and regularly hosts gallery opening events for newly featured artists. ELL seeks to achieve a symbiotic relationship between these artists and the people who regularly use the space by increasing artist visibility while making more visible any small business patronage and sponsorship.

ELL's folding wall supports both a formal gallery space and private conference area. 

3. CC4441, Tokyo

Nestled in Tokyo's old downtown, this hybrid gallery and office space is neatly programmed into three shipping containers stacked on top of each other. Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects designed the inventive arrangement for a husband-wife team who would operate a small business and an art gallery, respectively. Each space has a built-in timber frame to support extra hatches to create maximal natural lighting.

The top level office space looks out onto the street, while the gallery on the ground level allows convenient walk-ins. 

4. WPP Campus, Auckland

This historic Auckland building, originally a two-level art gallery, now hosts five prominent design companies after Designworks retooled the space for their ground level offices. In an effort to preserve the history and previous use of the space, Designworks has outfitted its offices with locally sourced custom furniture, lighting, and art. The space is designed to promote collaboration and creativity across its users, with themed break-out rooms and an airy open floor plan. In the words of Designworks, "Our design is a clear acknowledgement of the shift away from a desk-bound culture towards today’s mobile, agile, and savvy workforce."  

Designworks' office - formerly an art gallery in downtown Auckland - honors its past by keeping with an open floor plan and abundant natural light. 


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