Coolest Offices in Manila: A SPACE Manila
This smart, design-centric space pulls in startups and creatives, audiophiles and artists, and just about everyone in between.
(SPOT.ph) Scoring an office space at the heart of Makati is next to impossible for those just starting out. When you zero in on overhead, add parking costs, and tally just how much it'll take to get your office looking good enough to impress clients at meetings (or good enough for you to want to be there every day), budgets can get incredibly tight. The proliferation of co-working spaces around the city solves this problem and gives people running one, two, or three-man shows a bit more leeway.
One of the more popular spots today is just across Greenbelt 5. A SPACE Manila holds two floors (and one more coming up this year) along Legazpi Street in Makati. Heavy on design, light on the budget, and filled with an almost-tangible air of community and collaboration, this impressive new space can inspire even the staunchest cubicle farm-supporter to up and leave regular office life and jump into the co-working bandwagon.
Everyone's experience at A SPACE begins in its reception space. Sparsely furnished and extremely modern, the area holds no desk or has no resident receptionist. Instead, there are signs on the windows straight ahead, giving newcomers the chance to take some initiative (and to take a seat as well). Done by interior designers Amanda Axiak and Aila Asistores, A SPACE is hip yet unpretentious, cool but unaffected.
Just to the side of the lobby is a foosball table (there have been serious tournaments held here) and a graphic wall with a matching swing set and a quirky origami tree. This mural is just the start of a number of decorated walls found all over the space. Executed by Alex Esguerra and Lei Melendres, the work is slightly goofy, ironic, and generally fun.
One co-working space is a general free-for-all for those who come to work for just a day, and is also an open area for those who hold longer-term offices at A SPACE. Concrete, glass, and metal come to play, but the graphic walls and accessories that proliferate the space soften the more hard-edged surfaces. Grays and blacks dominate the space, allowing for the little splashes of color to pop. The longer-term offices surround the communal area, closed off to businesses that have them for anywhere from a year to longer. Glass walls give everyone a look inside, and encourage transparency as well as privacy.
Lounges are important for any shared space and those who want to get out of their offices are free to hang around in any of the areas available at A SPACE. Whether you'd like to work by the stacked bookcases, stay by a record player and play some old vinyls while working (A SPACE has a solid record collection and holds music discussions for free), or literally hang on one of the super comfortable swing chairs, you're always most welcome.
Coffee is another huge part of the co-working culture. Coffee bars are available on each floor offering unlimited fuel to anyone who works at A SPACE. The chalkboard walls are also decorated by student artist Alex Esguerra and add a bit of Pinterest-charm to the otherwise stark and clean interiors.
One distinct feature of A SPACE that makes a huge impression is the environmental signage. The branding of A SPACE translates directly to the signages painted on the walls, the inspirational (but not cheesy) words on the co-working walls, and even to the private meeting rooms that they have rented out. Bold, colorful, and punchy, these signs give a visually interesting, cohesive quality that runs through every inch of A SPACE.
A SPACE also carries a large gallery that houses exhibits changing every four to eight weeks. Also the venue for Fête de la Musique and a huge lineup of acoustic gigs, the gallery provides a rentable space that comes with a nearby prep kitchen and a lineup of stools and beanbags that can be set up on the go.
A SPACE fuses function and form intelligently-breathing creative inspiration to workhorses, and giving an air of structure to artists at heart. Even just a tour of this incredibly well-designed space will definitely be worth the trip to Makati.
Erratum: The first version of this article said that A SPACE is at Leviste Street. This has been corrected.