Baguio City’s Ideal Space
Text By EXCEL V. DYQUIANGCO
WHETHER YOU ARE A FREELANCER, a start-up owner or a tourist looking for that ideal place to air your creative and social side, Calle Uno Coworking Space located in the fresh and breezy Baguio City provides just the right space. A grandiose, storied house built in the 1950’s, Calle Uno has architecture that’s as distinctive at the time and rare today and features ornate eaves and a spacious wrap-around balcony. At some point of its history, multiple brick arches were constructed along one side of the house and into the forecourt, creating a Hispanic feel that compares to no other place in the city.
A THINK-TANK OF SORTS
As compared to coworking spaces in Manila where space is a premium, Calle Uno does not lack for comfortable nooks and crannies that individual members can claim as their own. Its spaces are verbs, noun-ified where people can have meetings over food and coffee. The first – WORK – is a glassed-in, hush space featuring three long trestle tables, an art gallery, an art wall and mini-offices. The second – THINK – is a wrap-around balcony always flooded with sunlight and fresh air to help you do just that. The third – CHARGE – is the pantry, where you charge up at all times of the day and night from the constantly running coffee dispensers, easily the favorite room of most of its coworkers while SPEAK is the TED-talks inspired space, complete with cargo pallets repurposed into a stage, for on-the-spot elevator pitch parties.
LEARN is its high-tech audio-visual room where most training seminars and meetings take place and LINK is an evocative typical New York loft with hand-laid brick walls and antique adobe floor patterns. For quiet- or hunker down-time, there’s CONVERSE featuring six fully enclosed cubicles perfect for focused Skype-conversations or determined napping. CREATE is packed with desktop computers, the exception to the rest of the Space which is purely a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) arrangement, which lends itself well to software training. COLLAB has regular office cubicles, perfect if you want to work out of the office but you still want the vibe of your office.
“Because a coworking and collaborative space is almost always the home of so-called solopreneurs and freelancers, we imagined that Calle Uno would be the first step in its member’s journey to success,” says Managing Director Ace Estrada II.
SHIFT FROM THE TRADITION
Estrada focuses on building the community and establishing Calle Uno as the go-to place for startups and startup investors. He says that their challenge s two-fold. In Manila and anywhere around the world where there is a concentration of coworking spaces, you only have to establish his brand.
In Baguio, however, they can only do that once they have successfully introduced the concept of coworking and shifted people’s minds from their traditional way of working. He says that only then can they build their brand. “Someone asked me how I would react if competitors started sprouting,” Estrada says. “I answered that I would be happy because that would mean that we would have been successful in planting the idea and acceptance of the coworking concept, and we are the first mover in that scene.” TP