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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Inside WeWork's first Singapore coworking space

Monthly rates range from $550 for a Hot Desk and around $1,100 up to $40,500 a month for private offices.

WeWork, the world’s largest coworking space operator is expanding its footprint in Asia with its first hub at the heart of Singapore’s vibrant downtown district. The Beach Centre, located beside the famed South Beach Avenue, aims to give its clients a taste of the old and modern Singapore – all of that while they tinker away on their laptops.

“WeWork helps facilitate this new way to work,” says WeWork Southeast Asia Managing Director Turochas “T” Fuad. “WeWork provides beautiful, functional, well-kept spaces that help facilitate thistype of work and create an atmosphere of vitality for today’s creators.”

He describes the Beach Centre as “vibrant, beautiful, and dynamic,” where people shift from the the “me to we” culture.

“By creating a unique WeWork experience as the solution that can assist the enterprise and re-focus their efforts on what they do best, WeWork provides a new approach to workspace for multinational enterprises so that they can better manage the challenges (people, organization, financial, macro) of today’s evolving workplace and strengthening their competitiveness on the global stage,” says Fuad.

Clients of the Beach Centre will feel as if they have traveled to traditional Singaporean shophouses, with old storefronts, arched window frames, multi-coloured shutters, and concrete breeze blocks placed around the office. The centrepiece of the building is a yellow staircase connecting all three floors and serves as a backdrop for the lounge.

It’s not just a coworking space, it’s an immersion into Singaporean culture.

“As our first project in Singapore, we want to breathe what Singapore is by taking in all the vibes of the city, the colors, the architecture into the space,” says Fuad.

Freshness and mobility are priorities at the Beach Centre, with its offices and open-air meeting spaces splashed with pastel-colored walls and furniture. Natural light floods through the complex through tinted floor-to-ceiling windows. Don’t fret if you want a little bit of me time: There are offices whose windows are covered by privacy vinyls, too. Dome pendant lamps cover the entire ground floor lounge. The designers also paid close attention to the space’s floors, with the concrete flooring on the second and third floor lounges covered various local rugs.

It was not easy to design the Beach Centre the way it is, however.

“As the first project in this market, the process of sourcing the materials, vendors, furniture is always challenging in creating the perfect environment for this new location,” Fuad explains. “With one of the main issues during construction the staircase design, we turned it around into a design element that eventually acts as a central core of the space.”

At the heart of it, of course, are the amenities that make the Beach Centre the mother of all coworking spaces.

It is the place to be if you are looking for anything between a one-person private office to a conference room that can fit up to 100 people. Hot Desks can be availed if you want unlimited access to your very own work station. Fuad, however, recommends that you avail of the full WE membership, as it means access to all of the coworking space’s amenities as well as reservation privileges for daily work stations and hourly meeting rooms. You can even have your mail and package delivered there, too!

Clients get what they paid for monthly – $550 for a Hot Desk and around $1,100 up to $40,500 a month for private offices, depending on the seating capacity.

Fuad says they expect companies of all kinds and sizes to call the Beach Centre as their home –from start-ups and entrepreneurs to multinational enterprises.

“With Singapore’s unique blend of entrepreneurs and corporates, we expect to see our membership across all industry and size segments grow significantly in the coming years and building an entrepreneurial ecosystem here unlike no other,” he says.

It is only the beginning for WeWork, which targets to make Singapore a stepping stone towards its eventual expansion in Southeast Asia. WeWork is already set to open its second Singapore location at 71 Robinson early this year, just mere months after the launch of the Beach Centre.

“With our members leveraging on our community and scale to reach more people in geographies and regions, we are confident that our global scale will bridge this highly fragmented market closer through our ongoing commitment towards establishing a strong presence in Southeast Asia,” Fuad says.

He noted more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies are current members of WeWork’s over 200,000-strong membership across 212 physical locations in 66 cities and 20 countries around the world.

Fuad believes a “robust pipeline” awaits WeWork in Southeast Asia.

“We are incredibly excited to continue our expansion across Singapore and ultimately Southeast Asia, and we look forward to providing many more members with the space, community, and services they need to create their life’s work,” he says.

It might be hard to believe, but WeWork ultimately does not see itself as a mere coworking company that has entered the saturated Singaporean market.

“We are more than just space; we are a global platform of creators that helps people to create a life, not just a living,” says Fuad.
 

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Inside WeWork's first Singapore coworking space

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