Launching in June 2019, the coliving space, Flatmates, will start moving in 600 residents from French billionaire Xavier Niel’s nearby coworking campus. The building, consisting of 100 shared apartments, café, private lounge bar and space for events, is available to entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, or staff members working within the STATION F campus. As an architecture and design studio, Cutwork specializes in coworking, coliving, and new types of hospitality spaces with designs that help build better communities. They were challenged to imagine the future of shared living spaces and to design UN-traditional bedrooms and living space to best support these emerging lifestyles and communities.
Working closely with the team at STATION F and project architects Wilmotte & Associés, they designed flexible spaces that can easily adapt throughout the day for how the residents need to use them. This included designing 15 custom pieces of furniture specifically for coliving and shared usages. Cutwork and STATION F’s first design collaboration was in 2017, when STATION F asked Cutwork to design select interior concepts and custom furniture for the startup campus. Impressed with Cutwork’s design vision and expertise to build thriving communities, STATION F asked Cutwork to design the full concept for the new coliving project.
“In Japanese culture, space is not only defined by the relationships between objects and walls, but also by the interactions and relationships between people. Rather than having a single word for ‘space,’ there are many words for space, each with its own social intention,” says Antonin Yuji Maeno, Cutwork Cofounder and Lead Architect.
“For Flatmates, we developed a community-centered design philosophy with three Japanese words for space: WA 和 - BA 場 - MA 間.” “WA 和 is space for deep focus, introspection, and understanding one’s self in relation to others. BA 場 is space for collaboration, extroversion, and knowledge-sharing. MA 間 is space for the spontaneous and unexpected – the collision of people and ideas”.
“In Japanese culture, a harmony of space is found when all three of these concepts are present. Cutwork designed Flatmates so that the shared spaces can intuitively be arranged and used in each of these ways as the residents need”.
Cutwork is founded on patented industrial technologies that enable new flexibility in design, manufacturing, and shipping. Built around advancements in laser cutting and digital design files, Cutwork can produce custom furniture easily and cost-effectively, carrying out interior concepts with full-control over the design and manufacturing process. This signature technology was the basis for the furniture designed for STATION F and again for Flatmates. “We oversaw the entire interior concept, designing 15 custom furniture products for 100 apartments. We delivered over 5,000 pieces of furniture created using our signature ‘bend’ technology”, says Cutwork Cofounder and CEO, Kelsea Crawford. “The products are minimal, multi-functional, and built tough for heavy everyday use, which is vital for coworking and coliving spaces”.
Cutwork believes in sustainable design. All of the studio’s products are produced on-demand on a project-basis (no warehousing, no overproduction). In 2018, Cutwork was named in the Top 30 CleanTech companies in Europe.
In the same way coworking has completely redefined the concept of workspace in just a few short years, coliving is following closely behind with even greater potential to radically change the way we build our cities, communities, and lifestyles. “Together, these new models of cohabitation are going to be the most disruptive thing to happen to real estate since the commercial office tower and modern apartment block,” says Antonin Yuji Maeno, Cutwork cofounder and Lead Architect.
Cutwork is conducting research on five key developments that are driving a fundamental shift in the way we live and work: rapid urbanization, the shared economy, rise of the freelancer, the epidemic of loneliness, and fall of the nuclear family. Coworking and coliving have emerged as leading contenders to help address such challenges - entirely new formulations of space built on the principles of community, mobility, sharing, flexibility, and innovative thinking. As a studio specialized in the design of these spaces, and thought leaders in this field, Cutwork’s team understands that architecture and design must adapt quickly and find complimentary new forms to support the emerging lifestyles and communities of the 21st century. Their studio is focused on designing innovative solutions to help overcome these challenges, working with pioneering companies who are reimagining the ways we live and work.
Client: STATION F
Location: Paris, France
Area: 12,000 mq
Capacity: 3 towers, 100 shared apartments, 600 flatmates
Year: June 2019