22 July 2014 — A sustainable new hub for co-working, creative work and events being developed in Richmond by GIW Environmental Solutions in collaboration with interior architects Tone & Co launched its website this week and invited a community of freelancers, creatives and professionals to become members of the space.

Lennox Street Exchange combines an open-plan office, cafe and performance and event space within a pre-existing warehouse, which has had an interior redevelopment using sustainable materials, including a degree of upcycled construction waste.

Sustainable design consultant and GIW director Gary Wertheimer told The Fifth Estate the LSX is aiming for carbon neutrality, with a range of initiatives including collection of food waste from the cafe for composting.

The office space features communal tables where independent users can collaborate on projects, and share skills and knowledge in a supportive environment. The hope is that the space will attract people from the commercial, building and creative industries, and foster increased connectivity between business sectors.

Retractable semi-transparent walls have been incorporated into the interior, so the area can be easily converted into both performance and function venues.

The on-site cafe will prioritise limited packaging and reducing food miles in the purchase of ingredients, and will be providing food for both co-working members and the public.

Mr Wertheimer said LSX also aims to provide a space for people living in higher density settings in the area to be able to engage in creative projects that may be challenging to undertake in an apartment.

“How do we design cities to be more uplifting and vibrant and create thriving communities?” he said.

“In the inner city where we are putting up high rises, there should be spaces where you can just go to be human. There seems to be an emergence of that sort of thinking. People are starting to question, ‘What is it to live in the inner city?’”

LSX is planning to open in September.

  • Gary Wertheimer is giving a public talk on the sustainable design of co-working spaces at Richmond Town Hall on July 31, see the events listing here.