Another Prototype by RKTB: Co-Working in Soho

Photographs by Albert Vecerka / ESTO

After earning recognition for its prototype for affordable housing in infill lots, the architecture firm RKTB see their new commercial office building, 433 Broadway, as a potential prototype for cities needing more shared workplaces, known as coworking spaces.

Designed from the ground up specifically for the needs of a coworking facility called Cubico, the chic and appealing white metal building in New York City’s desirable Soho features floor-to-ceiling windows, flexible floorplates, and plug-and-play utilities and interior systems.

What makes 433 Broadway different and uniquely appealing, however, is its gesture to the cityscape: It reads as a modern version of the Soho Cast Iron Historic District’s classic loft facades. These iconic buildings have attracted young professionals and entrepreneurs to downtown coworking in the first place.

“Coworking is among the most important business trends of our time, and it’s a ripe opportunity for typology explorations that meet cutting-edge real estate criteria while also addressing the mindset and functionality of today’s shared workplace,” says Carmi Bee, FAIA, principal at RKTB.

According to Bee’s client, the developer Omari Properties, Cubico offers glass-enclosed workstations as small as 90 square feet to 350 square feet, and more than 120 companies currently occupy the building, with 85 percent of the office space leased. Above the street-level retail spaces, five floors of individual workspaces are separated by glass partitions — flooding the volume with natural daylight — plus shared bathrooms, kitchens, and meeting rooms.

The CEO of Cubico, Edan Abehsera, says that buildings like 433 Broadway “could be the new normal,” as trends continue toward greater coworking demand.

Photographs by Albert Vecerka / ESTO