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An Inside Look at Moscow’s Network of Smart Workspaces

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TheKey is, as they like to call themselves, a «network of smart workspaces». But it wasn’t always this way.

The kitchen here is small, but cozy

5 years ago the same company operated a bar in St.Petersburg. It wasn’t an ordinary bar — in the evening there were master classes, gaming tournaments and IT meet-ups. At night, they played indie dance music.

There was simply no other place so entrenched in geek culture. From the very beginning, the owners wanted it to function as a coworking space, but soon abandoned the idea.

They realised that for it to be successful, it had to have all the extra features, like areas for eating. Financial constraints and space limitations didn’t help their cause — so they just let it go.

The coworking space occupies an old industrial building

Three years later they decided to move to Moscow, and this allowed them to bring their vision of geek paradise to fruition. It resonated with Moscow’s tech community and at the moment they operate 10 coworking spaces in different parts of the city. We’re going to have a look at the first one — the one they opened in April of 2016.

I doubt they encourage drinking on the job but they certainly make it easy.

Like its predecessor, the first thing you see upon entering the space is a bar.

The open space area seats 52. 70% of all the seats are reserved. The rest are available to ‘walk-in’ customers:

Serviced offices are also offered, but they’re difficult to grab:

And, they added a floor to the space, increasing the floor area from 350 to 550 square metres.

Lounge furniture straight out of The Blade Runner:

Spacious meeting rooms with sci-fi posters, lest you forget the geeky roots of this establishment:

The conference hall is regularly booked by the likes of Google:

And a bonus shot:

About the author:

Dmitry works with tech brands to create all types of content and promote corporate culture at scale. He is acting as an advisor for both the SXSW Pitch & SXSW Release IT event (since 2017), and a Techstars Startup Digest curator (since 2013). Email: dmitry.kabanov [@] startupdigestmail.com

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