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In recent years, we have realised the relevance and importance of the spaces we inhabit. Beyond our homes, we spend most of the day outside, mostly at work. Coworking is an increasingly attractive alternative. It offers independence but a sense of community; comfort but a working environment – the perfect middle ground between home and office. Silversquare knows this and, with its new and already tenth coworking space, has given designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard the opportunity to bring it to life and intervene in his own way. We travelled to Liège to learn about the proposal.

Silversquare Guillemins is the firm's first space in the Walloon Region and marks the beginning of a new phase of expansion for the company, which will be followed by the next openings in Antwerp in June 2023 and in Louvain-la-Neuve at the beginning of next year. For the creation of the concept that gives life to Silversquare in Liège, who better than a local designer and creative to know what best suits the needs of its inhabitants? Jean-Paul Lespagnard is a fashion designer who has ventured into a lot of projects, not only in textiles but also in interior design, product design, and art. That's how, with a lot of references, creativity, and hard work, the space that finally opened on April 6 came about.

Just by walking through the door and suddenly encountering the giant and imposing Tchantchèt doll made by Liège-born coppersmith Pascal Jacques, we know that tradition combined with fun will be a constant throughout the tour. In a decision inspired by his travels that gives a global and international character to the proposal, Lespagnard has decided to include elements from different parts of the world in the different offices and common spaces, such as fun kitchenware made by artisans from Mexico, straw lamps made in Morocco, and the waffle-shaped door handles, a very Belgian element but created in India. The multifunctional orange boxes that serve as tables, chairs, and a transportable alternative to the typical lockers are in fact boxes in which fruit and vegetables are carried around in Mexican markets, an element that, being present in so many parts of the building, becomes the common thread that reflects the essence of the designer.

Different types of offices are available to users, from small, personal ones to large meeting rooms that can double in size if necessary thanks to sliding doors. The common areas are not far behind, with lounges with old-school video games, air hockey, and even a kind of playground where you can also work if you want to. A Chai Lobby, a comfortable cafeteria, mini offices created with the bus stops of Lespagnard's childhood as inspiration, and screens where you can see information about train departures and arrivals at the Liège-Guillemins Station designed by Santiago Calatrava just five minutes from the building – these are all features of the innovative space that has now opened its doors to everyone. Comfort, functionality, and creativity, all in equal parts.

Natalia Andrea Pérez Hernández
Marthe Hoet

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