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Triomphe - turning workspace on its head

Carpets, cork, a wavy desk, an old door on the ceiling...
Carpets, cork, a wavy desk, an old door on the ceiling...

The new co-working space which has just opened in the ‘Triomphe’ building alongside the new hospital at Delta, is quirt simply extraordinary. It is safe to say you have never seen anything like it.

First, the background. Just over a year ago real estate developer Befimmo and co-working operator Silversquare, got together to talk about a collaboration, which has resulted in Silversquare@Befimmo. The concept is to integrate Silversquare centres into as many Befimmo buildings as possible, thus allowing both companies to take advantage of the rapidly growing appetite for shared office space. This is not a legal partnership, but an arrangement whereby Befimmo manages the overall building, and Silversquare manages the co-working area. The companies then share the benefits. One of the benefits of this arrangement reflects the very concept of co-working, which is a mix of profiles: the established and large Befimmo, with the relatively new and small Silversquare.

In terms of working areas, the Triomphe centre includes flex spaces, meeting rooms, desks, lounges, event space and (to come) a co-working café. This is intended to be the ‘kitchen’ of a large house, again underlining the social aspect of the concept. Neither is co-working any longer restricted to small start-ups: in the Silversquare at Avenue Louise, Club Med has recently moved in with 30 people. It will in time even be possible to rent a whole floor for private use in some buildings, and still take advantage of the social aspect of the concept.

As the co-sponsors say, co-working areas are no longer hidden away in some corner of an under-used building, but are now proudly flaunting themselves from the moment you enter. This is certainly the case at Triomphe. You come straight into the centre from the main door, to find a small reception desk, a huge shared desk, small booths, closed offices, settees…

Back to the ‘extraordinary’ aspect. The furniture has been designed by the interior designer of the space, Lionel Jadot, and features bright, garish and chaotic fabric and carpet designs, a total lack of straight lines, old recycled office doors on the ceiling, genuine cork lining to the work booths, real linoleum sharing the floor with the carpets. There are even seats for working half way up the stairs… Much of the fabric design is African or Japanese inspired, but not only…

Next to come within this collaboration will be Silversquare centres in the Befimmo-owned Ikaros, Central Gate, Blue Tower and Quattuor buildings in Brussels, and Paradis Express in Liège. They will not be copies of Triomphe, so it will be interesting to see what we’re in for next!
Tim Harrup

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