Common Desk is a 25,549 square foot co-working space located in Ancorian’s The Block which transformed a dilapidated warehouse in Houston’s East End district into coworking and experiential retail space. Common Desk’s space features a mix of private offices, team suites, open desks, conference space, outdoor patio, in-house coffee bar and indoor sunroom. The original location located in Dallas’ Deep Ellum has a similar feel to the East End with an industrial, warehouse aesthetic. It seemed fitting that Common Desk’s first location in Houston maintain a similar, unrefined feel.
The overall vision for the space was inspired by the mixed and matched nature of the building typology and architecture around Houston, specifically in East End. This inspired the variations in office and conference room storefront designs throughout the corridors, which also serves as a unique wayfinding tool. The conference rooms are each designed and named after local restaurants. We applied colors, textures, and patterns in unexpected ways; a mosaic-tiled hospitality bar, colorfully painted structural beams, and patterned wallcovering on the restroom ceiling. Lastly, we furnished the space with an eclectic mix of modern furniture and found, vintage pieces.
We were able to organically divide the communal space by adding a shelf and slat system that extends from the hospitality bar to the break room, creating a lounge area in between. In order to delineate space more cost-efficiently, while maintaining the open, warehouse feel, we introduced color-blocked portions of the concrete floors and walls.
Since the floor plate is so deep, we devised creative ways to bring more sunlight into the space. We transformed an existing loading dock into an exterior patio that sits directly behind the break room, offering the perfect space for large events. The main office corridor is filled with light due to the skylights placed evenly throughout. At the end of the two main corridors, we introduced a “terrarium” space, surrounded by wood-framed fluted, polycarbonate partitions, that creates an outdoor, garden feel.