The Malin is a New York Co-Working Space for Design-Minded Members
The new workspace concept stands apart by putting thoughtful design and quality craftsmanship ahead of extraneous frills.
“Work happens at The Malin; life happens elsewhere. We don’t need our workplaces to be social clubs,” states Ciaran McGuigan, CEO of the Bernard Thomas Brands company. McGuigan began developing the new coworking venture with Charlie Robinson, former United States. senior vice president of co-working pioneer Servcorp, just as the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“It’s a welcoming workspace with superior craftsmanship and tailored amenities, actually designed for work, with no distractions,” McGuigan explains. “Instead of investing in programming and events, we are putting our focus on amenities that serve our members’ business operations.”
Clearly calling out the shortcomings and cultish ambitions of blue-chip coworking empires like WeWork that have since seen a significant decline, the multimodal entrepreneur is far more interested in offering a product that is conducive to the significant shifts in working culture over the past two transformative years. “I spent the long months of lockdown thinking about how and what it would take to inspire folks to return to the office.”
So what does that actually mean? For McGuigan and his brand new team—sourced in part from Soho House—it was vital that they find the right neighborhood and city. New York’s ever-changing Soho district was the clear choice to set up the first location. Central to downtown, the property is accessible from not only adjoining Tribeca and Greenwich Village but also Uptown and Brooklyn through quick metro connections.
“I knew that the space needed to be flexible to promote different modes of working and even more comfortable than being at home,” the cofounder describes. “If the pandemic taught us anything, people want to work efficiently so that they can make the most of their day.” One area where this is the now ubiquitous video conferencing. Introducing a variety of personal pod and meeting room setups within the full-floor office was essential. “We know people want to maintain the adaptability and readiness they discovered while working from home,” he adds. “So our focus has been to implement amenities that streamline members’ lives.” The Malin includes dedicated desks, private offices and meeting rooms, a library curated by Printed Matter, and even a custom-designed app and an executive assistant service.
At the core of this new project are striking interiors designed by Jean Morana and Jordan Trinci-Lyne in collaboration with Fettle Design, a careful selection of furniture and fixtures, and close attention to detail. “Whether it’s in our leather-wrapped furniture, brass inlays, thick mohair and boucle fabrics, the handcrafted design and superior craftsmanship are really what sets us apart,” the co-founder describes. Among a few chairs and tables from the ever-expanding collection by Orior—McGuigan’s own family-run furniture brand—are luminaires from Flos and Roll & Hill, based just down the street. Joining a slew of custom fit-outs and 38 reserved desks in this sprawling 8,700-square-foot loft are high-end furnishings from local galleries Matter and The Future Perfect. The co-founder chose a wide range of Calico Wallpaper products to serve as backdrops in each sound-proofed video conferencing space.
Through a deliberate balance of muted colours and bright tones, hard surfaces and plush upholstery help promote a sense of ease and focus. Perhaps the most defining detail is bespoke oak doors with double-glazed semi-arched exposures and subtle ornamentation. These elegant openings also serve as room definers and are fully sound-proofed.
“We used only the best materials available to ensure that the furniture is comfortable but also built to last. Nothing is too precious. We understand this is a place to work, and we specifically chose furniture and designs that support this and can be used to the best of their ability.”