Urban Powerhouses — New Types Of Workspace For Creative Companies

Although it is quite a challenge to predict just how people will work in the future, today’s patterns indicate that there is a vast potential for innovation in the knowledge-based economy, as represented by creative companies. These companies are committed to motivating their employees with creative and collaborative workspaces. 

Freelancers and small teams of creative professionals gather together in existing co-working spaces and large corporations build campuses and create their own perfect environment. But what are the options for creative small or medium sized companies?

Their offices are usually scattered throughout the city and geographic distance is one of the main barriers to collaboration. Those companies need a new type of workspace and this demand is not being met in the current market.

Riga Powerhouse is a real estate start-up that aims aim to create a chain of Urban Powerhouses — branded co-working spaces for creative companies – in historic buildings. This comes from an initial idea which was to create an innovation-quarter in Riga. 18 months of research into innovation, creativity and how to get a high return on creative investments followed.

The result was the concept of Co-working 2.0 which was born along with an idea for creating a chain of Urban Powerhouses, which will begin with a pilot project in Riga, Latvia. Each next addition to the chain will be branded with the name of the city where the Powerhouse is located.

Urban Powerhouses fill the gaps in the market by creating co-working spaces for small and medium sized creative companies. The Co-working 2.0 concept will be implemented into each Urban Powerhouse which will offer individual workspaces, but which will also have social spaces, that will be shared between all members, such as a kitchen, a library, a coffee spot etc.

These spaces will be social hubs where people meet, where ideas collide and where new collaborations arise. In addition, the members of Urban Powerhouses will be provided with an all-inclusive service to cover those time-consuming and frustrating routine office tasks that don’t add any value to their core business, for example, property maintenance, communications and network maintenance, office supply, utilities, amortisation, correspondence etc.

Urban Powerhouses are planned to be located in historic buildings because those buildings are already landmarks, with their own unique stories and charm; buildings which many creative professionals already agree, bring inspiration to their workplace.


Riga Powerhouse is the winner of the MIPIM 2016 Open Stage Competition, an international competition held each year, before the annual real estate show, in Cannes, France. If you are interested, join the “High Return on Creative Investment: Co-working 2.0” panel at MIPIM.



The views expressed in this opinion editorial are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.

About the author

Edgars Ivanovs

Edgars Ivanovs

Edgars Ivanovs is the developer of the Urban Powerhouse concept. He has 12 years’ experience in urban innovation and the real estate sector. He started at Colliers International and was later involved in the public sector working for the Roja municipality in Latvia, where he managed 27 projects and brought innovations to the region, e.g. the establishment of the first town in the Baltics with a Wi-Fi cloud. He also spent two years living in Spain where he worked as an urban innovation researcher at Citymart. He has an MBA and an extensive track record of research.

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