Why we set up?
Number 9 North Great Georges Street has played an integral part in our lives since graduating from The National Collage of Art and Design in 2001.
In the beginning we set up the studio with a group of fellow graduates. The space served us well for many years, giving us a place to work, develop as visual artists and hold exhibitions and events.
In 2014 we both landed ourselves on a new career paths and we wanted to change the space to reflect this. This was our biggest and most exciting venture yet. As artists we always loved doing up spaces and making something new. It was a way to bring together our new career developments and acted as a solid foundation to build our dreams on! We wanted to create a place that was a solid place to develop our freelance work in design and animation. Mostly, however, we wanted to focus on developing a sense of community – a place that was a hub of activity and a supportive environment for us and all of our members.
Setting up Number 9 Coworking was a big new venture for us.
The refurb was a well needed transformation from a cold, dark space with 6 rooms divided by partitioned walls, no heating and poor overhead lighting. We started in February 2016 – initially clearing out 13 years of debris and left over art projects. We removed the partitioned walls and immediately the place transformed, bringing light in from both ends of the building and making the whole environment airy and inviting.
The main refurbishment took approximately 6 months. We did as much of the work ourselves as we could and worked with a very fine carpenter to bring it all together. We tried to remain sensitive to the existing Georgian architecture, restoring what we could, and installing a new, more contemporary birch ply floor and wall. We added a new, and much needed central heating system, built 12 individual spacious desks and created two very unique rooms in the arched ceilings, one as a meeting space and another as a project space. At the back of the main space, in the return, we developed a kitchen with a seating area that opens up into a small courtyard garden.
Number 9 coworking is up and running over a year now. We have grown the community to a point where most of our members are long term. There are a wide variety of people that work here -programmers, a comic book artist, a sound engineer, a Dublin tour guide, a health practitioner, a yoga instructor, and our own work with is now primarily animation. It makes for an electric mix that enriches conversations and adds texture to the day to day experience.
The main space is kept pretty focused – each desk has a low partition and a side storage unit which gives everyone their own sense of privacy and generally people want to get on with work – so we organise regular meet ups, coffee and cake, lunches and sometimes drinks on a Friday to give folk time to get to know each other and develop our community a little further.