Pipeline: Making Waves in Miami With Shared Space Design

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Chair Of The Month

Pipeline Brickell is the first high-design shared space to open in the heart of Miami’s Brickell Financial District. I created the space with fellow entrepreneur and business partner Philippe Houdard.

After years of work in corporate headquarters, executive office suites, home offices, and even out of coffee shops, we knew we wanted better workspaces, as well as the chance to work around talented people from diverse backgrounds.

While the shared workspace trend gains popularity across the country in markets like San Francisco and New York, the concept is still relatively new in Miami. As Miami emerged as a global city, the timing was perfect to design an office that small business teams of international corporations, startups, freelancers, and independent professionals could call home.

We spent a year working out everything from the warmth and brightness of the lights to the walking flow of the space to allow for random collisions with fellow members. Our primary design goal was to facilitate interaction within the building. The 14,000 square-foot office floor plan, designed by Gensler and built by Amicon Construction, is replete with flexible spaces, dedicated desks, private offices, conference space, and collaboration areas.

At the heart of Pipeline is The Cafe, designed by Stephanie Denault of Miami design firm, The Studio. The Cafe consists of a large rectangular yellow table with bar stools and smaller booth-style tables with a fully stocked kitchen, and TVs for members to take a break and socialize or work more informally.

The Garden — which features colorful hanging chairs and a grass wall as the backdrop — was created as a place for members to relax and hold informal meetings.

At Pipeline, we have four basic space areas: focus, social, learning, and collaboration. We incorporated the philosophy of color therapy to stimulate concentration and productivity, and colors such as yellow, white, and grey are dominant throughout the space.

We emphasized natural lighting, especially due to Miami’s abundance of sunshine. Windows offer unobstructed city and bay views for all members to enjoy, light pours in, and the views contribute to the inspirational and warm feel of the space.

Demand for the space was instant. We soon had all the private offices occupied and monthly members utilizing the dedicated desks and shared working tables. We quickly began to see first-hand how the open layout of the space made member interaction an effortless occurrence.

Our 100-plus members are now sharing ideas daily, meeting new contacts and prospective clients, and collaborating with others in the space. We see collaborative intelligence as a valuable asset in our space because it translates to new business opportunities for our members.

“Since joining the space in January, a few days after selling my company, I’ve been able to take advantage of the opportunities to meet other talented entrepreneurs and develop meaningful business relationships which have been a huge factor to launching my next startup,” said Boalt, a serial entrepreneur who has launched several start-ups, including co-founding the largest online passport expeditor, RushMyPassport.com.

To foster collaborative intelligence, we curated the space to have a balance of member companies from various industries, including technology, telecommunications, law and design. The abundance of open and shared spaces — from the shared desks to the cafe and garden area — set the stage for entrepreneurs to converse and create, together.

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