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Co-working with Ray and Charles
10/8/2013
The Green Room is booked by the day. Amazing how these aluminum chairs have retained their modern aura even 50 years on. Photo: © Vitra

At first sight Café Ray in Hamburg’s Kontorhausviertel district looks like any other of the co-working spaces that have been springing up in trendy quarters in recent years. Think easygoing, with a dash of rough-and-ready factory charm and a motley selection of non-matching furniture. Then we discover that the interior is made up not of a random selection, but indeed a clever combination of design classics by Ray and Charles Eames, along with high-quality seating furniture and a few office pieces from Vitra. The result is a café-cum-lounge that has an utterly welcoming feel to it. Hardly surprising if we consider that the café is adjoined to “Places” co-working space and has been planned by the interior design gurus at Hamburg’s punct.object. “We love Eames” it says on the Places website, and they have obviously adhered to their motto.

Across some 600 square meters the office floor provides workstations that can be rented by the hour. Nonetheless, there is not a hint of seediness about the place. Recent years have seen co-working spaces flourishing in most big cities as temporary working has become a fact of life – not just for many freelancers. Co-working spaces provide flexible working options in a functioning office environment, whether it’s for a fixed-term collaboration on a project, while stopping over in a different city, or trying to kick-start one’s own office or company.

Places offers all of this in downtown Hamburg, only a stone’s throw from the Chile House – with top-quality equipment thrown in for good measure. Fast Internet access and wireless printers are standard when it comes to ensuring convenient working conditions. Moreover, the high-grade ID office chairs from Vitra help relieve pressure on the user’s back. Even the cheapest workstations in the Open Space, which can be rented for just 20 euros per day, feature IDs by Vitra. By contrast, the so-called Work Boxes guarantee a considerable plus in privacy, while Werner Aisslinger’s Level 34 workstations introduce well-designed, smart working environments to entrepreneurs even during the start-up phase.

Aside from the ergonomically designed offices, it is the lounge and conference furniture that make for veritable, if rented eye-catchers. Because let’s face it: It will be a while yet before the co-workers will be able to afford those Eames lounge chairs or La Chaise. Which means that Places doubles up as a kind of showroom for people to test out the Eames design classics – rounded out by the latest in Vitra office furniture and beautiful objects, such as George Nelson clocks or those intriguing House Birds that keep peering over the co-workers’ shoulders.

www.places-hamburg.de

The Green Room is booked by the day. Amazing how these aluminum chairs have retained their modern aura even 50 years on. Photo: © Vitra
The lounge doubles up as a working environment, only it does not look like one. Photo: © Vitra
For everyone else, the co-working space includes plenty of options for one-on-ones. Photo: © Vitra
The Work Units have the look and feel of conventional individual offices. Photo: © Vitra
The Algues by the Bouroullecs separate the Open Space, with its standard workstations, from the café. Photo: © Vitra
Work Units for two are rather spacious and enable users to receive clients. Photo: © Vitra
Places is a clever combination of contemporary rooms with 1950s classics. Photo: © Vitra
The Algues by the Bouroullecs separate the Open Space, with its standard workstations, from the café. Photo: © Vitra
Club Charles can be used for film and company presentations. You will be hard pressed to find these stylish Lounge Chairs in any other movie theater. Photo: © Vitra
Café Ray is a celebration of the Eames classics, just like the rest of the co-working space, actually. Photo: © Vitra

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