This New Coworking Space Goes Beyond Its Cool Coffeehouse Aesthetic
Common Ground in Ortigas has an in-house café and a view, too!
(SPOT.ph) Stepping into Common Ground feels like you’re getting a clean slate at work, every single time. Forget all the layers of stress you’ve packed on through your hustle, commute, and keyboard-tapping. Once you sail through their doors and hit reception, you leave all that behind.
What greets you instead is amazing natural light, muted tones and hues that are more Melbourne coffee shop than cubicle farm, rounded corners and ribbed glass that resemble a Mad Men interior upgrade, and a diffused scent that makes you feel like you’re in the lobby of a five-star hotel.
Designed by Adrien Kent, a Kuala Lumpur-based interior consultant, stylist and sketch artist, Common Ground is one of the newest and fastest growing coworking spaces to hit the Metro. Currently, they have three branches—one in Bonifacio Global City, one in Rockwell, Makati City, and the recently opened Ortigas branch. “We hold 1,700 square meters of space and fit about 214 people,” explains community manager Jamie Santiago. Not even a month after its launch, and Common Ground’s private offices were already fully booked.
It’s no surprise: The atmosphere in Common Ground is enviable, especially for those who are looking to venture out of a traditional office, set up their own small- and medium-sized enterprises, or work out of their bedrooms.
Common Ground's main entryway holds banquette seating with café-style tables, set against frosted glass that hides a plethora of plants. The walkway takes you to the heart of the space, The Grounds. Aside from your typical hot-desk area, people who work at Common Ground are privy to a beautifully appointed living-room space with intimate couch set-ups that can be moved around to accommodate Common Ground’s regular events, which cater to their members’ interests and needs.
The natural light that floods through the space is a feature in and of itself. The ribbon of windows that wraps around the main space, providing access to the balcony, is a feature that many offices or even homes don’t have.
Located in The Grounds is the in-house café operated by St. Louis. Set against a wall with your typical bar, the café elevates the atmosphere of the space and also offers members better food choices than the typical fast-food fare that many office folk resort to on their lunch and coffee breaks.
Everything that fills the Common Ground space contributes to its fresh vibe. The herringbone laminate floors, the choice of a lovely sage green as an anchoring color for the space, the plethora of potted plants, the Scandi-inspired furniture and decorative elements, all add up to a space that spells cool. Even the board rooms (Common Ground has two—an eight-seater and a 14-seater) are beautifully appointed, with their ribbed glass windows and sophisticated wood accoutrements.
The same aesthetic permeates through Common Ground’s more private spaces. Half of its space is dedicated to the hot-desk area and The Grounds, while the other half is reserved for those renting out private offices. This area has access to two pantries, both done up in a similar sage green palette, office supplies areas and 24-hour CCTV-monitored access (as opposed to the main area’s Monday-to-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. schedule).
“Coworking revolves around so much of what we do in our daily lives—lounging on the sofa, having meals at a kitchen, to working at a desk,” says Kent. “These spaces intertwine all these activities while creating freedom and structure at the same time.” Planning a flexible space that combines privacy and openness for 200 to 300 people is no mean feat, but Common Ground delivers without scrimping on its mid-century-inspired look.
Aesthetic aside, it’s the people that drive Common Ground, and the ones who have its Ortigas hub aiming to come up with a beyond-better space for all their members. It’s a keen understanding of how people work—and what people want out of their days, whether they're working or not—that keeps this space not-so-common.
Common Ground is at 10/F IBP Tower, Jade Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Rates start at P10,000 per seat/month, while private office rates start at P14,000/month. For more information, visit Common Ground's website.
Photos by Patrick Martires