[City Insights] Coworking spaces of Madrid

Coworkies — Coworking Communities

When thinking of Madrid, rarely one will strongly relate it to coworking. Nonetheless the shared workspaces scene in Madrid has been quietly building its uniqueness over time. After meeting with 10 awesome coworking communities, we reflected on what we experienced and decided to compile in a short and insightful notes.

  • The first coworking space in Spain and Madrid opened in 2007, 2 years after the movement started in San Francisco. Right from the beginning, Madrid has taken a stance at supporting artists and creatives at work by bringing up new type of workspaces that would tackle their needs.
  • Today, Madrid counts around 150+ coworking spaces for a city of 3.1 million people, which is almost the same numbers as Berlin. The coworking spaces are a mix of plethora of independent workspaces, Spanish multi-space operators such as Utopic_Us and coworking giants such as WeWork or Spaces.
Utopic_us
Spaces (left) — WeWork (right)
  • The coworking scene of Madrid is facing a big challenge when it comes to pricing as Google campus offers free coworking seats for everyone. A coworking desk in Madrid costs, on average, 200€ per month, which is a bit higher than Berlin (160€) or Barcelona (192€).

So, how do they compete you wonder? Well, by developing spaces that focuses on very targeted work communities.

  • Collaborative Spaces like Espiritu23 are focusing on building a local work community, from the neighborhood of Malasana and connect them to people from the area by developing events such as yoga classes, music classes for children, theater and more.
  • Another interesting example is Quinta del Sordo who supports artists of any kind by providing them with a space to make and showcase their work.
Espiritu23 (left) — Quinta del Sordo (right)
  • Factoria Cultural, an incubator in a former slaughterhouse, supporting the creative industry by incubating their projects and giving them the guidance and network they need to succeed.
  • Impact Hub has developed a very strong network in Madrid with 4 spaces supporting the social entrepreneurs of the city. In few years they have successfully become the place in town for any social and environmental related topic.
  • Coworking spaces such as V,i,l,l,a,g,e have developed their space and content around the communication industry, adding value to their members by expanding their network opportunities.
  • The audiovisual industry also has its base in Madrid in the place of El Play, a coworking space gathering creatives and companies growing their business in the media sector.
Factoria Cultural (left) — Impact Hub Madrid (right)

But Madrid coworking scene does not stop here. One other thing that makes it very unique is the effort and thinking that has been put towards interior design as a tool to connect members.

  • Freeland is probably one of the most advanced on the topic. By developing a modular coworking space, their members can decide what level of privacy and focus they need throughout the day.
  • Using the space as a catalyst for collaboration is exactly what The Shed did. Started in one floor, they experimented and found the secret recipe of collaboration between members to later on expand to several floors in the building where they started in.
Freeland (left) — The Shed (right)
  • Some spaces such as Nueva Carolina has combined interior design together with curated communities. By offering good interior design as a way to foster good creativity they brought up to the market “the most instagrammable space in the world”.
Nueva Carolina
  • Lastly, Madrid would not be what it is without the people who constantly innovate and push further the coworking scene. New workspace initiatives are starting such as La Piscine, the first COFFICE from Madrid and Spain.

Madrid has found the secret recipe of coworking. By investing the right time and effort to bring people together in a well-designed work environments they have built strong communities at work that support each other.


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