On founding and growing co-working space Second Home

With innovative design, cultural programmes and a focus on collaboration, Second Home is hoping to create a more inspiring and supportive workplace for creatives and entrepreneurs. We talk to co-founder Rohan Silva

Second Home’s workspaces are the antithesis of identikit corporate offices. There are no sparse white rooms or bland windowless cubicles – instead, buildings feature curved walls, colourful décor, and a mass of potted plants. Rooms are filled with natural light and Modernist furniture, and members work in studios with transparent walls. Its Holland Park workspace – a white brick building that was home to Richard Rogers’ architectural practice in the 1980s – has a photographic studio and a poetry bookshop, while its Spitalfields venue has a roof terrace with views over the City and a bookstore with a risograph print machine in the basement. 

This unusual approach to design, coupled with skills sharing, mentoring and cultural programmes for members, has attracted a diverse mix of businesses to Second Home, from accountancy and legal firms through to designers, filmmakers and fast-growing startups.

Second Home was founded by Sam Aldenton and Rohan Silva (one of CR’s Creative Leaders 50) and opened its first workspace near Spitalfields, east London in 2014. It has since opened sites in Holland Park (a leafy area of west London) and Lisbon and will open two more in London Fields and Clerkenwell in October. Next year, it will open in its first US workspace in Hollywood.