This Coworking Space is Giving Off Major Summer Camp Vibes

“El Camp” is home to an advertising agency, with dedicated coworking space for other companies in the marketing industry.

coworking space
The entrance to El Camp, a new coworking space dedicated to marketing companies in El Segundo, Calif. Image courtesy of El Camp.

El Segundo, Calif.-based ad agency Ignited recently designed and developed El Camp, a coworking space that will serve both as the agency’s new home, as well as a “plug and play” workspace for other like-minded marketing companies. The facility is located in a converted aerospace manufacturing plant, with the old-school features to prove it: high ceilings, lots of parking, and expansive indoor and outdoor areas. What’s more, Ignited decided to give the coworking space a “distinct summer camp vibe”, and included everything from picnic table-like workstations to outdoor fireplaces for barbeque and s’mores.

“Our vision was to curate a mix of complementary organizations and services, with the overall goal of working together to help each other and our clients prosper,” said Eric Johnson, president of Ignited, in a press release. “We thought a lot about what type of environment we wanted to invent and asked ourselves, When have we felt really alive, most creative and truly connected to those around us?  Our answer: summer camp.”

We reached out to Johnson to find out more.

coworking space
Outdoor space at El Camp. Image courtesy of El Camp.=

Who was the building architect?

Wolcott Architecture Interiors designed the space

Who was the interior architect/designer?

Alex Moore Phillips for furnishings, and SF Jones Architects contributed.

When was the project completed?

July 2016

coworking space
The El Camp lobby. Image courtesy of El Camp.

What is the total square footage?

52,282 square feet

What is the square footage per person?

Four people for every 1,000 square feet.

How many total employees are there and what’s the daily population?

We currently have about 165 residents and expect to be at full capacity by the end of summer.

coworking space
Image courtesy of El Camp.

What is the location’s proximity to public transportation and other amenities?

We are next door to the Bay Club, and within walking distance of the Douglas metro station and Rosecrans Avenue retail, restaurants, and movie theaters. We are a short drive from the newly opened The Point and Manhattan Village shopping centers, and just 10 minutes from LAX and the beautiful beach of the South Bay.

What were the construction/hard costs per square foot?

Approximately $100/square foot.

Which furniture brands/dealers were used? Please touch upon any notable products, how they were used, and if they solved a specific problem.

Workstation systems were designed and fabricated by Tangram.  Reclaimed wood installations were built by Against the Grain.

Of particular note, a large amount of furniture was sourced through Craigslist to provide an eclectic and lived-in feeling of comfort for the space, inspired by camp lodges in the woods.

coworking space
View from the top of the stairs. Image courtesy of El Camp.

Is there a mobile work or work-from-home policy or are most of the employees there all day every day?

Each of the resident companies has their own work policies, but the majority are on location daily.

How is the company’s brand reflected in the coworking space?

We designed the space to be functional, comfortable, and encourage collaboration. We intentionally created a variety of work environments that satisfy all the expected workplace needs, but take inspiration from the outdoors, our Southern California location, and how people work when they are away from the office.

The reception area (~4,000 square feet) was built to be part hotel, part Starbucks, part entertainment space with the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of activities including regular speaker series events.

coworking space
Vintage furniture gives the coworking space a relaxed, lived-in feel. Image courtesy of El Camp.

What is the most unique feature about the new coworking space?

We incorporated some unexpected and whimsical elements to the space that are both functional and fun.  Some examples:

  • An indoor biofuel fireplace
  • A treehouse conference room
  • A rock climbing wall
  • A large, private (~3,000 sq ft) outdoor patio/meeting space
  • A secret room, located behind a moving bookcase, that serves as a tranquil escape and nursing mother refuge
  • Vintage camp and outdoor themed décor
  • A sound and photo studio

If the company moved out of a previous space, what was the hardest aspect of change for people?

The change was actually quite easy as our former location was right across the street. Our long-term real estate advisor, Robert Cavaiola of tenant brokerage firm Savills Studley, helped us in identifying and securing this opportunity, recognizing that it aligned perfectly with our vision. He had also advised us regarding our initial move to El Segundo and the neighboring property.

coworking space
The fireplace in the lobby. Image courtesy of El Camp.

Please share any illuminating, surprising, or hoped-for results you might have gleaned from post-occupancy surveys.

We built the space with the notion that creating an environment that facilitates collaboration could be more than just an office space, but also create business value for the residents.  To date, Ignited and several residents have engaged in business relationships with each other, pitching and servicing mutual clients.

coworking space
The outdoor campfire. Image courtesy of El Camp.

Please talk about any other notable aspects of the coworking space that make it unique.

There has been a lot of development in the coworking space in the last few years, the most notable being WeWork.

In designing El Camp we set out to be more deliberate in our coworking environment and more selective in our curation of residents to share space with. The result is most of our residents are exclusively in the marketing services space ranging from app developers, event marketing, licensing for commercials, analytics, media, production and other specialty service firms.

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