The Wing, a women-focused coworking space and social club, will open in Fulton Market on Thursday, April 11 and the popular, dreamy loft-like space is already waitlisting applications.
The Wing has opened spaces in New York, LA, D.C. and has plans to expand into at least 15 locations in the near future. If you haven’t seen The Wing before, the locations have a signature style: A rainbow ladies’ library filled with books about women and by women, gold accents, cane chairs, a jewel-tone color palette, lots of terrazzo, airy rooms, and skylights.
However, with a new in-house design team led by Laetitia Gorra, The Wing aims to take each new space in a more local direction. Previously, Gorra had consulted on projects, but Chicago’s space is the first location she’s taken on as the company’s senior interior design manager along with architecture firm CallisonRTKL New York.
What’s changed is that the design and membership teams can work closely and adapt design based direct feedback from members. Each city and workforce is different and the spaces are beginning to reflect through colors, fabrics, seating arrangements, and services. The organization is attempting to move away from creating beautiful spaces for women, and instead developing a local design inspired by cities.
When compared to other locations, The Wing found that Chicago has an incredibly diverse workforce—start-ups, non-profits, business owners, artists. That inspired the team to incorporate more communal tables in the cafe area, instead of just two-tops, to encourage collaboration. However, in San Francisco location, where a lot of tech workers do solitary computer work, there has more workspace for individuals.
For Chicago’s space, Gorra cited Frank Lloyd Wright as an initial inspiration which can be traced in the archways, hexagon tiling, and a more muted version the brand’s color palette.
Other unique design elements include a compass laid into the flooring, much like what you’d see after leaving at certain L stations, and the Chicago riff on Joana Avillez’s original wallpaper featuring illustrations of the Bean, a Chicago-style hot dog, and the wind. These changes help tie the highly recognizable brand to its location.
The furniture, art and objects in the space are sourced in a variety of ways including eBay, local retailers, vintage shops, and custom designs. The ladies’ library used books from Strand Bookstore and Women and Children First in Andersonville. Many of the sculptures and table top items were found by Gorra at local shops like London Walder and Redefined Decor. Two midcentury modern green Kagan sofas, which blend seamlessly with other custom furniture, were found on eBay and reupholstered.
The photos and paintings on the walls of The Wing is actually an exhibition curated by Lolita Cros. The Salon features rotating artworks available for purchase by Chicago-based, female-identifying artists. Some of the new and established artists include Yvette Mayorga, Cassidy Early, Jillian Hansen-Lewis, Minami Kobayashi, and Brittney Leeanne Williams.
Soon members will be able to step foot in The Wing’s new Chicago oasis, but for now take a first look at the signature coworking space.