Civic Collaboration for Community Good
July 27, 2017
Explore how Civic Hall used a flexible coworking approach to design a work-and-community space dedicated to civic technology.
Coworking spaces are truly taking off, as they offer many advantages to organizations that seek to foster collaboration and go beyond the boundaries of traditional office environments. This trend is influencing government/municipal projects as well. Civic Hall’s mission was to renovate an 18,500 square foot structure into a unique community space that promotes ideation, creativity and innovation while remaining true the building’s architectural heritage. Civic Hall is an environment where social entrepreneurs, change-makers, government employees, hackers, academics, journalists and artists can share knowledge, build tools and solve problems together. People are at the heart of Civic Hall.
At its core, the intent was to create an environment that nurtures idea sharing, collaboration and cross-pollination. Designing an environment that promotes a free-flowing idea exchange and breaks down barriers is a challenging undertaking where flexibility is key. Since Civic Hall itself was a new concept, the space needed to be able to adapt beyond initially foreseeable needs as the organization found its niche.
No matter if members are coming to Civic Hall for day-to-day work, presentations, conferences, lectures, movies, seminars or small meetings, the space flexes to support the event. The furniture is also responsive and adaptable to better showcase technology, promote spontaneity and spark creativity amongst members. The open floor plan has workstations with 140 seats, multiple conference areas, old telephone booths for privacy and small meeting rooms with video conferencing capabilities and robust Wi-Fi.
“People are using the space exactly the way we intended which is that the furniture is a partner with them,” said Andrew Rasiej, founder of Civic Hall. “It allows them to be flexible, to be comfortable, to feel productive, to feel respected.”
“It’s filled with furniture that allows them to pursue their goals and projects in a transparent way. It sends a message to them that they have everything around them in order to achieve what they’re trying to achieve,” he added.
To learn more about this unique space, strategic design and adaptive use of furnishings, check out Knoll’s Civic Hall project case study.