Montoya is a new addition to the booming coworking scene in Barcelona, a city attracting droves of young entrepreneurs with its sunny weather, playful lifestyle and beautiful architecture.
The ‘shared work’ space – to use the preferred parlance – is situated in Poblenou, the old industrial district by the Mediterranean Sea. Poblenou’s abandoned warehouses and small-industry workshops provide the square footage needed for open-plan hives of creativity and comradeship.
Montoya aims to nurture a community of like-minded creatives. The Barcelona coworking space is conceived by interior designer Skye Maunsell and partner Jordi Veciana, an industrial designer.
‘The idea is to curate a collective of people who collaborate with each other,’ says Maunsell, who compares Montaya’s ethos to that of Second Home – the successful shared workspaces in London and Lisbon that have become a benchmark in fusing design, well-being and work-leisure balance. Although the idea is for the community to grow organically, applicants to the Montoya coworking space must undergo a selection process in order to predict synergies and fruitful partnerships.
Maunsell and Veciana spent 18 months converting the space. Spread over three floors and 950m2, Montoya has a calm atmosphere, with a handful of people working alone at bespoke tables generous enough to host a banquet. The designers wished to instil lightness and warmth into the industrial the building, which they have achieved with natural materials (ceramic lampshades, linen upholsteries on mid-century seating, translucent mesh curtains and ash wood finishes) and large windows that connect the old delivery driveway and the street outside.
The soothing, mostly pastel tones of the furnishings were chosen to match the distressed walls; a mélange of layers of paint and glue remnants and floors, where some of the original tiles could be salvaged. The almost celestial nature of Montoya is accentuated by the sheer height of the ceilings; supported by original wooden beams on the top floor, where events and presentations are held, and traditional Catalan vaults on the ground floor.