Hackney will open London’s first ‘tree office’ in Hoxton Square on 1 June.
The new pop-up co-working space, branded TREExOFFICE, is being built around a tree trunk and will provide working spaces for businesses and the Hackney community as a response to the shortage of offices in the borough.
The ‘tree office’ will have unlimited Wi-Fi access and will be available for meetings and events. Online booking will start soon.
All income generated will be invested back into Hoxton Square and the surrounding open spaces. Local community groups will be able to book seats the TREExOFFICE free of charge at weekends.
The weather-proof transparent structure will seat six to eight people and provide views across the square and into the tree’s canopy.
The office will be open for seven months as a pilot project.
Hackney councillor Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, says the office will help businesses that lack the funds for workspaces.
Nicholson said: “The Council has partnered with a range of organisations to launch this new, innovative project which will help provide a unique workspace solution in the heart of borough’s tech cluster that is home to thousands of small, growing businesses.
“The ‘tree office’ will provide a space not only where people can work and meet, but also interact with the natural environment, a vastly different experience from working in a modern office.”
However, not everyone is happy about the project. Elisa Kershaw, 22, a waitress working in the area said: “I am not too sure about the idea of these big businesses coming in and occupying this beautiful park.
“Hoxton Square isn’t very big and I don’t want this project to take even more space from the area.”
Others are excited about the new business space. Peter Johnson, 27, an IT consultant, said: “I am really looking forward to this being in Hoxton Square. I’m trying to get my company to book the office for a few days”.
Hackney Council, Groundwork London and the Arts Admin are among the supporters of TREExOFFICE.
It has been designed by artist Natalie Jeremijenko in collaboration with artists Shuster + Moseley, architects Tate Harmer and briefing architects Gensler.
TREExOFFICE was commissioned by Artsadmin and Groundwork London as part of the Park Hack project. It is being launched during the 2 Degrees Festival and will be hosting a number of events during the festival week.