Sydney is fast becoming home to co-working spaces for budding entrepreneurs and startups looking to take their business to the next level.
The “rent a desk” concept has taken off in recent years, providing the tech community a viable solution to having their own office and facilities without the restrictions that come with renting traditional office spaces.
While most have focused on creating an affordable working environment for entrepreneurs to build their networks and connect with others in their field, a new breed of prestigious co-working spaces are looking to buck the trend by offering luxurious and high-end office suites.
One such space is Paramount by The Office Space, whose bespoke offices sit in the historic Paramount Building in Surry Hills, Sydney, originally the head office of Paramount Pictures during the 1940s. The launch and redesign of the space was led by duo Boris and Naomi Tosic earlier this year, with the couple departing from the more simplistic and functional design of well-known co-working spaces such as Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs and Hub Sydney.
“With more and more co-working spaces opening up offering cheap shared desks we wanted to deliberately go in the other direction and offer something more refined and private and beautifully appointed that would suit businesses where design, service and prestige are more important that a cheap place to work,” Naomi Tosic said.
Here’s a look at how their vision turned out.
Designed by Woods Bagot, the space was premised on creating a “simultaneously functional and aesthetically beautiful experience.”
Tosic says that the design was largely inspired by the “prestige, comfort and superior amenities offered in airline first and business class lounges” and “on par with a 5-star boutique hotel where everything you need is at your fingertips”.
Much of the inspiration behind the ultra-luxe design stems from the corporate glamour of 1950s New York with original timber panelling, wooden office walls through to custom-made burnishes brass light fixtures.
Each of the individual business-in-residence suites have been handcrafted with custom furniture and design pieces reflective of the Art-Deco theme running throughout the premise.
In addition, Paramount also offers virtual office services so that businesses can establish a landing point in Sydney with a recognised address, landline and presence.
The spaces covers 300sqm and offers 22 private suites accommodating between one to five people, plus a meeting room and boardroom which comes with a well-stocked whisky cabinet. The suites are available to tenants at a minimum of $2,000 per month and includes a concierge service, access to boardrooms, modern kitchenette and bar area where clients and casual meetings can take place.
The Paramount is pricey in comparison to co-working spaces such as Fishburners at $400 per month, with a hot desk rate of $40 per day and Tank Streams Labs on Bridge Street, at $650 a month, EngineRoom for $450 and The Workbench in Ultimo for $550.
The only rival to Paramount in terms of price is Work Club, which opened up earlier this year on Elizabeth Street in Sydney’s CBD, priced at $850 a month for a desk through to $2,250 a month for a private suite for 1-2 people.
Tosic explains that while the offices accommodate for startups, the co-working space is fast becoming an attractive option for “company figureheads seeking a breakaway office, CEO’s completing side projects and executives who sit on boards”.
The space was created with “discerning business owners in mind” with leading entrepreneurs and businessmen such as Vince Frose of Frost Collective and Raj Nandan from InDesign Magazine already part of the tenant mix.
“To narrow it down, most of our clients are 10+ years in business, run very successful ventures, and either work solo or have a small team of staff. The industry categories represented are diverse: medical, property, consulting, recruitment, marketing, media and film,” Tosic said.
Co-working in the future
Tosic says that with the demise of the “traditional construct of the 9-5 office day”, it’s inevitable that many will turn to more high-end and tailored business space offerings.
“I believe there is a always a need for diversity in the market. Just as in hospitality we have hostels, hotel chains and the boutique hotel category, so to with office space we have the co-working spaces, the more traditional corporate serviced office chains, and high-design boutique shared offices which is where The Office Space Group sits,” says Tosic.
“As businesses get more successful they do want to move from their kitchen table or the co-working environment and take residency within an office environment that is professional but also aesthetically appealing. It makes good business sense – both individually and for the way a business is perceived.”