When you search in the internet for “The best coworking spaces in Oslo”, to have a quick glance of descriptions and reviews by professionals, besides coworker (Online worldwide coworking/ flexible office booking website), you come across to The 10 best coworking spaces in Oslo and Nine killer coworking spaces in Oslo. This blog introduces and discusses addional coworking spaces managed by Regus and Spaces, the two important, multinational and well-known serviced office providers, which can be found in the city.
10 min read blog by Helyaneh Aboutalebi Tabrizi, (M.Sc in Architecture) WG Member of the COST Action CA18214.
Regus and Spaces as New Working Spaces (NWSs)
By reading these two 2020 released blogs, you will find out that, there is no introduction for Regus and Spaces of Oslo. Whereas, these two spaces are very common names among top 5 coworking companies . There are 8 offices of Regus and 6 offices of Spaces around Oslo. Regardless of their other branches in the city center and Southern Oslo, these two working space brands, are the only available possibilities for renting modern and efficient office space, coworking, virtual office and meeting rooms in the northern Oslo or more importantly in a very significant area of Nydalen. Although, based on the studies conducted for, The Geography of New Working Spaces and impact on the periphery CA18214, besides Regus and Spaces, Mina Di Marino and Seyed Hossein Chavoshi (both from NMBU and MC members of COST Action CA18214) introduce Evolve Business which is located in the BI building (Norwegian Business School) and Deichman Library as new working spaces (NWSs) situated in Nydalen district. Since COST Action CA18214’s first and foremost target of NWSs is “collaborative and creative working spaces (such as coworking spaces and smart work centers)”, Regus and Spaces are among the top coworking choices.
Nydalen: The New & Modern District of Oslo
Nydalen acts like a new city center located in the Nordre Aker of Oslo. As Avantor (a leading urban developer and property management company) claims, since the early 90s, their most focused area to grow is further improvement and development of Nydalen which contains most of their properties. Avantor changed the traditional industrial area in Nydalen into a live and vibrant city center. Now, it is simply a few minutes by metro (T-bane) to Oslo’s city center from Nydalen. This area has both natural greenery qualities and modern facilities with a low car traffic and continuous cycle and pedestrian paths alongside the Akerselva river. This 8 km stream starts from Maridalen in the North and ends in Bjørvika in the South, and that drives Nydalen into a fascinating urban district for living and working. For example, one of the most attractive scenes, that you can see in this area, is people swimming in the Akerselva (see Fig 1).
Fig.1: Akerselva river, a view to the South. Photo by Mina Di Marino
Avantor has involved architects, urban planners and geographers to investigate the ultimate possibilities for building more office spaces and housing in this area. Among many modern buildings of Nydalen, NY 28 (Nydalsveien 28) and Torgbygget (Nydalsveien 33) are the ones that contain Regus and Spaces respectively (see Fig.2a and Fig. 2b). The two buildings are among the properties of Avantor. They are both placed in the iconic buildings of the district with perfect contemporary façade, yet the question is why they are not in the top list to be recommended to the audience?
Fig.2a: Schematic map of NY 28 and Torgbygget Building locations in Nydalen
Fig. 2b: 3D view to Nydalen. Source:Google Earth 3D view using snapshot option
One Neighborhood, Two Coworking Spaces
Regus is located in NY28’s 1st and 5th floors (see Fig. 3). NY28 is a commercial building of 22,500 square meters which was originally built in 1941. It has been renovated and extended since then. The property was entirely rehabilitated in 2015 and emerges to be a new building, both from outside and inside. NY28 has modern and updated solutions that are adapted to the tenant's needs, and there are wide range of services for the users in this building. Nydalsveien 28, specifically the initial central building from 1941 and the high-rise block, is one of the iconic buildings for industrial development of Nydalen (see Fig.3 ). The 5-floor low-rise and 13 floor high-rise blocks have been developed over different stages. The several changes of development are readable from the façade.
Regus is mostly best for professionals and business teams. The membership price for a full month is a little higher than the membership prices of suggested coworking spaces mentioned in The 10 best coworking spaces in Oslo. In fact, hub, chiefly aims to suggest cost-effective alternatives only for start-ups rather than professionals
Fig. 3: NY28 Building, located in the West of Akerselva river. Photo by author
Spaces as active workspace has been planned and designed for collaborative activities and it is owned by Regus. The Torgbygget shopping center is situated in Nydalen and it is one of the meeting points or landmarks in Oslo (see Fig.3). It has been entirely renovated in 2016. With office buildings in the upper stories, it places Spaces in the 3rd and 4th floors. There are several cubic extrusions with orange frame, on the façade, and the ones in the 3rd and 4th floors present the Spaces’s name on the volumes’ smoked glass windows. Spaces Nydalen is easily recognizable from the street, when you walk, drive or when you come up from the metro stairs to the ground level, it is there, very loud and clear! Since metro station is located downstairs of the building, there is a very good accessibility to the public transportation to Regus and specially to Spaces. Just like NY28, Torgbygget also has wide range of facilities. It is a mixed-use building including shopping mall, parking areas, supermarket, cafes and restaurants, dental and health clinic etc. (see Fig. 4,5)
Spaces is best for entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups and creatives and the membership price for a full month is higher than the average price of other coworking brands, but a little less than Regus. In addition, besides the full month option there are alternatives as for using your space for 5 or 10 days a month, which makes the price lower.
Fig.4 Torgbygget Buidling located in the East side of Akerselva river. Photo by Mina Di Marino
Overall, considering that coworking is rising, it is important to suggest coworking spaces for each neighborhood in a particular city, during and after the pandemic. In the first place, the focal point of this blog is to briefly indicate the significance of a district such as Nydalen, which Avantor calls as “sentrum i en bydel” meaning “center of a district”. After analyzing the existing coworking spaces by their geographical location, nature, urban effects, architecture and aesthetics, this reading is highlighting the importance of introducing vital functions or typologies of each area of a city to the inhabitants. Here, one of our vital places are the two coworking spaces.
Fig.5 Torgbygget Buidling located in the East side of Akerselva river. Photo by author
Since 2020, after the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the people have tended to work remotely or from very close working spaces in their own residing neighborhoods in order to “commute less” according to Ilaria Mariotti (Chair of the CA18214) in RGCS open seminars. Thus, it is important to note that one of the criteria to “introduce” coworking spaces is to consider different neighborhoods and suggest at least one coworking spot, its perks and availabilities, in each region or district of one particular city.10 best coworking spaces in Oslo, describes each mentioned coworking alternatives by a short quote. For example, It describes Simula Garage as “free space for 12 months” or 657 Oslo as “largest coworking space in the town”, in addition to these descriptions, it is also necessary to call a specific coworking space by its region, or its cardinal direction, so that, people in the Northern areas of a city can get use of the spaces in the North, close to their home. For example, “Spaces, coworking space in the North of the town”. Let’s not turn a blind eye to costs and membership prices of Regus and Spaces. These prices may have roots in the property renting and high quality building premises.
Approximately, all coworking brands, considering Regus and Spaces, have the same average facilities such as, super-fast Wifi, coffee and tea bars, food and drinks, printing and scanning opportunities, 24/7 access, in addition to single offices, meeting rooms and of course coworking desks/ lounges. Consequently, the very important factor for choosing your coworking space may be its location and accessibility, at least for now, under Covid-19 conditions.
10 min read by Helyaneh Aboutalebi Tabrizi
M.Sc in Architecture
WG Member of the COST Action CA18214