Second Home Extends Its Bold Aesthetic to Its Latest Coworking Office

The company, known for its vibrant colors and ample indoor foliage, recently opened a new London office designed by Madrid-based firm Cano Lasso.

Second Home London Fields Cano Lasso
The office building’s ETFE facade is self-cleaning (thanks to its non-stick surface) and was inspired by the tensile structures of German architect Frei Otto. Architects Cano Lasso worked with engineering firm Webb Yates to realize the facade. Courtesy Iwan Baan

In 2014, coworking company Second Home debuted its fresh take on the shared office with a new space in East London’s Spitalfields area. The SelgasCano-designed space was fluid, flexible, fashionable, and filled with plants, good food, and lots of color—specifically orange, as per the company’s brand. It was (and still is) the place to be if you’re a young startup or work for one. Since then, Second Home has expanded to Lisbon and L.A., but the company’s latest location is back in its hometown.

And you won’t be able to miss it. If it weren’t for the mole hill–like ETFE facade fronting the building, the bright-orange trademark coloring (here employed on an entrance ramp) would be a dead giveaway that the $7.9-million project has arrived in Hackney.

Second Home London Fields, the new location’s official name, wasn’t designed by Madrid-based SelgasCano, but rather its sister studio, Cano Lasso. (Also based in Madrid, Cano Lasso and SelgasCano share a cofounder.) Still, Second Home London Fields certainly brings an architectural ‘wow’ factor. It also hits all the familiar Second Home marks: lots of plants, circular transparent office partitions, flexible-use space, and a café.

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There is something new, however. Billed as a “family-friendly creative workspace,” Second Home London Fields includes a nursery, which can be found behind coworking areas on the second floor. “Big companies provide childcare facilities. Charities and small organizations can’t,” Rohan Silva, Second home cofounder, tells Metropolis. “My hope is that in ten years’ time, big developments have childcare facilities. We hope this project signals change.”

Second Home London Fields Cano Lasso
Second Home London Fields was originally planned to open for Spring 2017, but, as the Financial Times reported, the project hit road bumps along the way. Courtesy Iwan Baan

The nursery isn’t the office’s only atypical feature. Its “roaming space,” as Silva calls it, can quickly convert into an event space thanks to pulleys that hoist circular tables into voids in the ceiling. This open space is free for anyone to use, though the upstairs is for rent-paying “residents.” It’s there that Second Home’s distinctive circular translucent offices can be found, dotted around the second level like lava lamp blobs.

“The challenge was to change an existing structure. It was a very small space with a lot of columns and not a lot of light,” Gonzalo Cano, cofounder of Cano Lasso told Metropolis. “The transparent walls ensure a light space.”

“Every project uses an existing building,” added Silva. “The worst thing you can do is knock down a building.”

Plans for Second Home’s next location—in Hollywood—have already been drawn up by SelgasCano.

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