A new co-working space is taking root in the northern regions

This week, a new co-working space opened its doors north of the city center. Ecuador Installed in third place MADES. Its mission is to connect the north and south of the city by welcoming people of all professional backgrounds.

At the end of March, Marseille is preparing to welcome a new co-working space: L’Équateur. Literally, the person who ” Makes it equal ». The name is all about him The ambition was to make it a central pole between the north and south of the city, and its founders also envisioned it as a space workers could fully fit in.

Over the past five years, Stéphane Cardo, Odile Ciari, Pascal Sevteier and Antoine Jodel have worked to evaluate a comprehensive, fully equipped and affordable co-working space in the heart of La Caboselle, in the 2nd arrondissement of Marseille. A sector that is experiencing rapid change that has so far ceased to supply rent in terms of office space. To make up for this shortfall, around 44 remote communal work stations, closed offices, meeting areas, agora areas or even for sport and relaxation have been provided to the residents, who come to spend a few hours, days, or months.

Desire: to create a space that contributes to the dynamics of the region and its development and to put an end to a form of worker isolation by enhancing collective performance. « Originally, we are a group of friends who share the same feelings, especially musical ones. Ecuador’s co-founder Stefan Cardo says. The idea of ​​this place was to allow exchange between peers, and especially between people, to allow people to go out of their own way and be a carrier of coexistence. ».

A new third place in the northern neighborhoods

This well-defined ambition is part of MADES ‘third-place dynamic, as Ecuador has just proven itself. Already occupied by companies, artists and craftsmen, the 4-storey building offers association reception, a law firm, a solidarity café kitchen, a school support space, a rooftop event space or a digital art residence. A complete living space open to all sectors of activity.

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An interview with Stefan Cardo, co-founder of Ecuador

In the current crisis context, opening a coworking space is a challenge. What convinced you to embark on this project?

Stephan Cardo : It is a project that we have had since 2015, in which we saw the potential and location of the place. We took the time to imagine it, and as freelance journalists, it takes a lot of patience. So we are very confident in the concept, despite the current economic and social conditions.

What also convinces us is that today we offer a real solution by responding to teams that want to invest a place not permanently but with sufficient equipment to be able to lead a normal professional life. We are betting on openness and social ties, which is the essence of what motivated us when we launched the project, because we are a group of friends.

How are the different areas of the building distributed?

Today, 4 usable levels are in the building. The area of ​​each roof is about 450m2. On the ground floor there is a storage warehouse, and 120 sq.m. is reserved by Ligue de l’Enseignement, an association that supports residents with their administrative procedures. Their presence in the image of this place that wants to mix, corresponds directly to the project. There is also an old restaurant of 170 sq.m. currently dedicated to the 13 Solidaires Association which is developing the concept of a solidarity canteen and school support in the exchange venue equipped with a library and digital museum.

On the first floor a company has already been installed but we hope to invest some time to have a meeting and training room there. The co-working space is located on the equator on the second floor and covers 230 square meters. It has a canteen, agora, dozens of standard individual offices and open spaces, with a 360-degree view of Marseille, between the sea and the Etoile massif.

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The third floor is dedicated to our industrial activities, as we are already working on site as entrepreneurs in the paint industry. We are looking for solutions to reduce emissions from waste generated in the coating activity by eliminating or developing them. On the other hand, we are developing the research and development pole for environmental detergents.

Finally, on the fourth floor, we have 300 square meters of roof terrace and 130 square meters covered, converted into an apartment / office.

How is the new joint work emerging in Marseille?

The name “Ecuador” speaks for itself: it is a central point occupying the north and south. We place in the center the will to connect all segments of the population, all universes. In the past, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with myself thanks to the meetings I’ve had, and that’s exactly what we’re attending here. Business represents 50% of people’s lives, and it should be a place that allows them to express themselves but also to nurture the emotions of others. This is in addition to all the activities that are being developed in the building, especially social initiatives, helping residents … Above all, coexistence and openness to others are important here.

The friendly place also feels planned. Instead of being locked in a classic boardroom, we envisioned a discussion room, an agora, which is offered as a small theater and show room and residents have access to gymnasiums, wellness and showers. There is a quality of life in the service of professionals.

Ecuador: A new co-working space takes hold in the northern provinces

Can the joint action trend continue with the imposed health standards?

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Containment has accelerated the use of remote work, and all companies have seen it. But going from working in the office to working remotely 100% is not a miracle cure. While it is not necessary to work on corporate headquarters, isolating oneself is also not a solution. Joint work has a role to play now. Businesses and organizations have to accept remote work from their employees, and once the door opens, it’s hard to turn the clock back.

However, many employees find it difficult to cope in the long term by working from home, which can ultimately cause anxiety. This is where the co-working space proposal allows, when properly directed according to each individual’s needsIt thrives in good conditions. We give them the quality of life at work advantage that we talked about earlier, while ensuring safety thanks to large spaces. We think the energy of a place can allow you to breathe by spending time doing what you never do, like a yoga class or participating in a thematic conference. These are rewards that allow you to get out of your inner self. And this is where it feels like sharing makes sense.

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