Every WeWork space is intentionally designed to foster productivity and collaboration. Designed to Inspire delves into the architectural and artistic elements of these spectacular buildings.
Situated in Atlanta’s Midtown West neighborhood, WeWork The Interlock occupies a particularly vibrant nexus of the city. The building itself is a state-of-the-art new development with a rooftop terrace—complete with a pool, bar, and views of the city—and houses stylish restaurants and a boutique hotel. Down at street level, the area hums with activity.
WeWork The Interlock represents the cutting-edge of industry in Atlanta, which is partly why technology-driven companies like Moderna are members in the space. Yet the area also has ties to Atlanta’s past. For almost a century, it was home to the Atlantic Steel Mill, Georgia’s first steel mill and a titan of American manufacturing. For the WeWork design team, it was important that the workspace reflect the area’s heritage.
“There’s a historical industrial influence infused into the building itself,” says Melise Anderson, a senior design manager at WeWork. “The building has a warehouse loft aesthetic, with beautiful high ceilings and amazing concrete floors and exposed beams. It [contains] the old industrial charm and character of the area.”
Staying true to the industrial style, the design team used materials such as fluted glass, stainless steel, anodized metals, and concrete. They wove these in among warmer materials such as exposed brick and natural materials like wood and stone.
White oak millwork integrated throughout the space helps soften that industrial edge, as does the greenery and carefully chosen furnishings. “We’ve brought in some pops of color through furniture and accessories,” Anderson says. Rugs in natural fabrics provide a balanced and harmonious ambiance throughout the space.
“The furniture is very textured. It’s sophisticated, it’s cozy,” Anderson says. “It brings a rich warmth to the industrial style.”
As soon as someone walks out of the elevators, they’re greeted by the community desk. There’s soft lounge seating and an espresso bar nearby, as well as a large custom sculpture that looks like two interwoven welded steel beams painted in a bright blue pop of color that ties into the steel mill’s past.
The interior is awash with an abundance of sunlight, thanks to 13-foot-high windows encircling the building. “It’s so open and high that the natural light from the exterior penetrates the center of the floor plate, which is quite nice,” Anderson says. And when a situation calls for less light, technology helps with that: The perimeter windows are all smart windows that can be individually adjusted for various kinds of shading during different kinds of working.
We really listen to member feedback, so we’ve implemented higher levels of acoustics here, as well as quiet focus rooms, phone rooms, and an abundance of power outlets.Melise Anderson, senior design manager at WeWork
Smart windows are just one of the features that add to the member experience. From community lockers, where members can stash work supplies overnight, to sit-stand desks for added versatility, WeWork The Interlock provides all sorts of thoughtful perks.
“We really listen to member feedback, so we’ve implemented higher levels of acoustics here, as well as quiet focus rooms, phone rooms, and an abundance of power outlets,” Anderson says.
Playing into the neighborhood vibe
All that variation gives members options that suit individual working styles and needs. “The offices are very flexible in terms of configuration and collaboration,” Anderson says.
WeWork The Interlock offers an exceptional diversity of office suites, some with their own private pantries, so members can grab tea without leaving their workspace if they want to. Four of the larger offices have their own private rooftop terraces, separate from the general rooftop space.
“This is one of the first times we’ve incorporated such a variety of small and large offices into the same floor plate,” Anderson says. “The variety creates (almost) neighborhoods within the same area.”
To further that neighborhood feel, the design team commissioned several Atlanta-based artists to create multiple artworks for the workspace. As members journey through the space, they’ll encounter mirrored reflective surfaces by artist Ryan Coleman, as well as striking digital art pieces on canvas by Neka King. Of particular note are the brilliantly hued works by Alex Brewer (aka HENSE), one of Atlanta’s foremost graffiti artists.
“We’re really excited by these pieces. They not only provide a great addition to the space’s center of gravity, but they provide a significant level of localization and connectivity to Atlanta,” Anderson says.
Two artworks from Susan Schanerman and Yvette that are featured in the space were licensed in collaboration with ArtLifting, an organization that sources works from artists who have experienced homelessness, been incarcerated, or are living with a disability. Through this partnership, WeWork is able to embrace a more diverse local artist community while also providing a sustainable source of income for these artists.
All of these facets contribute to a workspace that serves the needs of Midtown West’s current community, with a nod to the area’s history. WeWork The Interlock is meant to be the kind of place where members can comfortably spend the whole day, then join a catered networking event in the evening, or head to the rooftop to enjoy a drink with colleagues while taking in the skyline.
Diana Hubbell has spent more than a decade covering design, art, travel, and culture for publications including The Washington Post, The Guardian, Eater, Condé Nast Traveler, The Independent, VICE, Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, Atlas Obscura, and WIRED, among others.