The office on the move – Coroflot’s Mobile Work Unit

If you cast your minds back a few months, you might remember the Nissan mobile workplace that we wrote about. Nissan collaborated with the UK-based design workshop, Studio Hardie, to transform their e-NV200 electric van into the world’s first all-electric mobile office.

As office design specialists, we were more than impressed by this innovative way to optimise space. And it seems like the trend has caught on, as a tech start-up in America has recently opened the doors of their impressive mobile work unit (MWU for short).

Half unit, half office

The MWU has been created to accommodate the needs of a company that is rapidly expanding and evolving.

Inspired by the trend of tiny houses, Oregon-based design studio Los Osos built a 280-square-foot office space for the online design services directory and community, Coroflot.

While Coroflot didn’t want to pay through the roof for a space they’d quickly outgrow, they didn’t want to compromise on design either. The result is a highly-effective, versatile space.

Small businesses, big ideas

Coroflot’s headquarters, a 2,500-square-foot former ambulance garage in a low-rent part of Portland, now houses the 28-by-10-foot trailer.

The business saw the mobile space as a worthwhile investment in a constantly-changing industry. Not permanently tied to one building or location, it can go where it’s needed most by the members of Coroflot’s diverse community.

The idea to create an office-on-wheels actually came from the company's founder, Eric Ludlum. His previous plan to build a tiny house didn’t go ahead but had gone as far as commissioning a custom trailer. This trailer became the basis for the MWU.

Portable, adaptable, profitable

Coroflot workers can adapt the trailer by moving the desks out to make it a meeting room. The configurable nature of the space means that the company can easily repurpose it if and when they grow.

Plus, by keeping their mobile office in a low-rent depot in a less desirable part of town, the company could get a great return on investment if the area turns around.

If it doesn’t, they haven’t lost that much and they can take the mobile office with them when they move on.

Inside the space

The trailer has a Douglas fir post-and-beam frame and polycarbonate walls which let daylight in but also offer privacy and sound insulation.

The modular office furniture system, along with brackets, holes and hooks along the frame, means that tables can turn into shelves and benches into desks. Whether you need a workstation or a kitchenette, the MWU’s interior can adapt to meet anyone’s needs. Add in a few plants for good measure, and the space is quite homely.

Whether you need a workstation or a kitchenette, the MWU’s interior can adapt to meet anyone’s needs. Add in a few plants for good measure, and the space is quite homely.

 

It’s important for start-ups to express their values and identity to make a lasting impression on clients and employees alike. This is a great example of a workplace that does just that in an innovative way, saving both space and money without compromising on design.

Photography: Jim Gloden

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Categories: Office DesignOffice Furniture

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