People Behind the Space: Qb Studios
Meet Tom, Mike and Alex from Qb Studios
A refreshing blend of intimate and independent office suites.
In this new edition of People Behind the Space, we were lucky enough to chat with the masterminds behind Qb Studios. We discussed their journey into the coworking world, the impeccable design and architecture that has gone into their workspaces, and their future plans for their network of space.
Qb Studios offers a refreshing blend of intimate and independent office suites, in surroundings that are calm, creative and welcoming. Driven by design, each Qb Studios location has its own sense of identity and ambience. Check out the full feature below.
Give us a quick rundown on how Qb Studios started.
Alex - Like any good adventure should be, our journey was into the unknown and full of surprises. When we began, I was a barrister, Tom was a professional rugby player and Mike was a fine art dealer.
We started our business in Rio de Janeiro with the mission to design a new type of building system that could build beautiful buildings fast. As it turned out, the first building we built with our system was the first Qb Studios in Christchurch - a mix of art gallery, hospitality and workspace.
Soon after, we opened a second space in Auckland and the rest, as they say, is history.
What has been the most challenging part of the journey and best highlight?
Alex - For me it was the beginning. Starting any business is full of highs and lows… empty promises and broken dreams!
We kissed lots of frogs that didn’t turn into princes, so when we finally completed our first building we had a real sense of satisfaction.
What do you think the biggest benefit is to a company working from a coworking space?
Alex - I think that the sense of working in a village-like atmosphere can be very energising for small businesses. Being around other people with different styles allows some fresh air into the situation.
In Qb we try to strike the right balance between private and shared so that businesses have their own space and identity within a community environment.
What are your favourite things about coworking?
Mike - We enjoy the social aspect. Meeting new people and learning about their businesses. We tend to have a diverse group of companies – big and small from a range of industries.
From global companies like ABInBev and Afterpay to boutique brands like Serious Popcorn and RnV. It makes for interesting conversation at Friday night drinks.
We love the fit-out of your Qb Studio locations! What inspired the look and feel of your spaces?
Mike - We all love architecture and interior design and I think we are all quietly driven to create spaces that our members have a sense of pride in.
Our design process tends to unfold as the project develops and our feeling for the space evolves – so we are a contractors nightmare. Some of our spaces are ambient and intimate and others are crisp and bright.
We lean towards simple pallets of black and white that act as a backdrop for pops of colour that we introduce through art or furniture pieces that we design and make ourselves.
You say that 'artwork' takes on a whole new meaning at Qb Studios - tell us a bit about this.
Mike - I have a bit of a history working with art so I suppose it's not surprising that art has always been a feature in our buildings.
Art-work was a concept we developed to bring art into the work place.
Our first Christchurch location was designed around this wonderful bright, high stud atrium - a perfect gallery space where we hosted exhibitions by emerging and established artists.
It comes back to the idea of “curating” our environments - keep the spaces alive and evolving and bringing outside influences in.
If you could pick any 3 people in the world to work in your space, who would they be and why?
Tom - I’ll keep this within New Zealand;
Guilio Sturla, the head chef at Roots in Lyttleton, Christchurch. We have onsite cafes at Newmarket and Christchurch so he would be in charge of all Qb hospitality.
Ollie Perkins, an emerging contemporary New Zealand artist. Ollies works would be a standout on our walls.
Jacinda is welcome. She has done a great job unifying the country and would quickly become our community leader.
Do you have any tips and tricks for those thinking about setting up their own coworking space?
Tom - Coworking is evolving at a very fast pace. There are different modalities of co-working which are suited to different types of businesses.
As a business grows and changes so do its demand for space, so it’s important to be clear on who you want to attract, as this will be a key part of how you set up a space. There’s no one size fits all.
Are there any exciting future plans you guys have for Qb Studios?
Tom - We’ve had a really busy 6 months opening a new space in Newmarket, expanding into the front our building on Ponsonby Rd, and we’re 6 weeks out from completing a new building in Chch.
We’re always looking at buildings and new locations but our immediate focus is on enhancing the curated workspace experience for our members.
With all the amenities you require, a diverse community of interesting tenants as well as artful surroundings to appreciate and inspire, Qb studios is your space to call home.
Click here to view their listing on Sharedspace.co.nz for more details.