This week, TOPP moved into additional, (maybe) temporary office space, to alleviate some of the crowding at our office in the West Village. We were looking for a place that was convenient, comfortable, and most of all, available immediately (backstory is that we’ve been basically sitting on top of each other at our W. 12th Street offices for the last few months, while our new space at 148 Lafayette is being renovated — it’s ridiculous, I know…)
Anyway, we found a GREAT space at a new-ish office incubator in DUMBO called Green Desk. It’s a renovated 6-story warehouse building right at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. Each floor consists of a bunch of glassed-in offices which are home to various companies. Gothamist is on the floor right below us. Most of the folks from the Livable Streets Initiative and GothamSchools, and some of the OpenGeo team will be working from here now.
I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about office space lately, mainly spurred by our own impending move as well as Fog Creek Software’s recent move to new digs. Having read Joel Spolsky’s writing about the importance of private & quiet office space, I’ve been getting a little concerned about the open plan of the office we’re about to move into. I visited the Fog Creek offices last Friday for their new office open house, and was impressed by the combination of highly social space (kitchen, lunch tables, couches) and super-quiet workspace (private, glassed-in office for every single developer). As a result, we at TOPP have been trying to subtly improve the layout (within reason, since construction is about to start and our concerns aren’t the only ones — the space will also be the future home of Tower Research Capital) of the new office to increase the amount of available private/quiet space, even if the floor plan is fundamentally open.
Anyway, I digress. So, I’m sitting here at Green Desk for the first time today, and it’s really quite nice. We can hear the sound of the subway rolling over our heads as it crosses the Manhattan Bridge, but it’s kind of like waves crashing and isn’t really disturbing. We have four separate glassed-in rooms, each with about 4 desks, and there’s a shared conference room, kitchen, and sitting area. Apparently there’s also a proper cafeteria and exercise room on the way. It’s also nice to be in a space with other companies, although I haven’t met anyone just yet.
Here are some photos. Even though I will continue to work primarily from the Manhattan office, I think I’ll plan to spend a day or so per week down here for a change of pace, and for the joy of walking to work and not leaving Brooklyn
Above: Green Desk building at 155 Water Street
Above: View from the front door, facing the river and Manhattan
Above: Glassed-in offices are somewhat reminiscent of the nice, quiet offices at Fog Creek
Above: Shared reception area
Above: View from one of our rooms, facing into Brooklyn