There is fresh air in Reykjavík’s ex-industrial area, Grandi. Right next to the celebrated Omnom chocolate factory, there’s a space that’s aiming to pioneer a new kind of creative environment that’s been missing in Reykjavík. Inside, you will find a table made of upcycled wood, small decorations that give the impression of being in a vintage shop, and the wonderful smell of freshly brewed coffee.
Surround yourself with creativity
Opening on June 16th, this new co-working space aims to connect coffeehouse vibes with a professional work environment. For the price of two to three cups of coffee, you will be able to get down to business at a desk, use the on-site printing facilities and meeting room, and hang around other creatives in the cozy and communal areas—all with the (probably) fastest internet in town.
“We’re only beaten by the Chinese embassy,” laughs Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson, one of the three founders. Gunnar has a huge smile on his face as he shows me around “The Space.” “All of us are very firm believers in the philosophy that you need to surround yourself with people who give you positive enforcement and who inspire you,” he says. “We wanted to bring that idea to The Space.”
The team—consisting of the social media and project manager Katarzyna Dygul, and the two professional photographers Joseph M-Hall and Gunnar—felt the need for more flexibility in co-working spaces.
“As a photographer, you don’t want to commit yourself to a desk for a month,” Gunnar explains. “You need somewhere where you can go once in a while and sit in a professional environment.” At The Space, you will be able to pay for each day separately. “There are so many creatives who are coming here just for a short period of time,” he continues. “They need somewhere to go to. At The Space, they can find a place away from home where they have a base—good coffee and internet, and plenty of food around. And—most important of all—likeminded people to connect with.”
Chocolate and beer
The Grandi area was the perfect fit for establishing a cluster of partnerships. There is a printing house, a chocolate factory, a photography school, the soon-to-open tool library, the new Grandi Mathöll food hall, and much more. The Space’s goal is to build up a creative eco-system and offer, for example, a tour through the Omnom chocolate factory with a day at the new co-working space. “We also plan to partner up with some cool Icelandic beverage and food providers to share their products for special events,” Gunnar says.
A space for photography
The Space is currently crowdfunding the cost of implementing a photography studio, which will be available to those working at the co-working space, and to book outside of opening hours. So far, the team has been taking The Space’s development in their own hands by scavenging cheap stuff at the Good Shepherd.
“To take it to the next level we do need some money as well,” Gunnar says. “We want The Space to be a living prop house. If you’re doing a shoot, you can just pick some stuff from The Space and go into the studio and take some pictures.”
The Space will also be a site for workshops, exhibitions, film screenings and more. At the Grand Opening on June 16th, visitors will be able to meet the team, chat, and have some beer and food.
Gunnar is practically exploding with excitement. “The interest has been really overwhelming,” he says. “Everyday there are people dropping in who are following us on social media, who really want to come and see it. Already now, different connections between creatives have formed—completely independent from us. It all comes back to surrounding yourself with people who have a positive influence on you. The Space is not supposed to be about us, it’s supposed to live its own life.”
The Space Reykjavik is a new co-working space in Grandi. Follow its progress on Instagram.