THE LIST

This Ambitious New York Brand is Raising the Bar for Coworking Spaces

Blender Workspace aims to elevate productivity, community, and culture at its Madison Avenue flagship.

The Blender Workspace café and lounge area. (Photo: Jonathan Pilkington)

Imagine how your work day would change if it was spent immersed in a space where good design and a hospitable experience were the top considerations. Scott Sassoon, Amro Qaddura, and Peter Korbel opened up such a place on New York’s Madison Avenue to cater to discerning creatives. They called it Blender Workspace, and worked with local interiors firm Parts and Labor Design to create a stimulating environment that doubles as a deluxe platform to elevate its members’ work. The space includes three decked-out meeting rooms and a 3,000-square-foot café and lounge that has played host to a mix of performances, panel discussions, product launches, photo shoots, and corporate soirees. Surface sat down with Sassoon to talk about the community he’s created and his plans to expand his vision globally.

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Marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy hosts a panel discussion at Blender Workspace during Social Media Week. (Photo: Nora Varcho)

Tell us about how Blender Workspace came about. 
Blender Workspace was conceived  in 2014 at 69 Bayard Restaurant in New York. Myself and my cofounders, Amro Qaddura and Peter Korbel, wanted to provide an alternative to mainstream [co-working spaces]. We recognized a void in the work-space-as-a-service industry and saw the need for an upscale offering with a focus on hospitality and design. The name Blender was inspired by the now-defunct music magazine—and also by my beehive Oster blender. We opened in January 2017 and after seventeen months, Blender has established itself as a premium workspace brand catering to established  professionals seeking thoughtful design and an elevated work experience. 

Whats the driving force behind what Blender does?  
We wanted to build a lifestyle brand that was edgy, authentic, and sophisticated. “Blender” speaks to the mixing of great ingredients to create something better—a concept that translates perfectly to other markets, both domestic and international. Blender is not a social club. We provide a serious, “heads-down” work environment for members and their clients. Support for emerging contemporary art is a passion and integral part of our community program. We carefully select a diverse mix of events for members and their guests that drive the culture of our space.

Partnership
Open co-working areas with private meeting rooms. (Photos: Jonathan Pilkington)
Members working in the café and lounge space. (Photo: David Cleeland of WRKSHRT)

What does good design mean to Blender Workspace?
High-quality design is everything—from the brands and products we use every day to the vibe of the public and commercial spaces we frequent. We recognized early on that exceptional aesthetics were critical to our success. We spent a great deal of time searching for a partner who had zero office experience, but embraced the challenge of creating a one-of-a-kind, hospitality-driven luxury workspace. Fortunately we discovered Parts and Labor Design, who have since achieved all-star status in the hospitality world. Together, we formed a unique bond to tackle the prototype workspace at 135 Madison Avenue, which has earned accolades from the international design community. 

What new initiatives do you currently have in the works?
Blender spearheaded the creation of the Global Collective, which gives our members access to a network of work spaces. The alliance brings together like-minded premium work spaces that embrace thoughtful design, hospitality, and curated events. Thus far, we have member spaces in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Paris, London and Mexico, all offering shared access and benefits. As for Blender, the future is bright—our goal is to be a leading luxury workspace brand. Currently, we are in discussions with several forward-thinking commercial landlords seeking to integrate Blender’s asset-light management model with their portfolios.

Partnership
Absolut Art and The PR Net host a panel discussion.
Inside a work space at Blender Workspace. (Photo: David Cleeland of WRKSHRT)
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