New way to work

Co-working reimagined: A look inside Vuka Co-op's whimsical wonderland

Co-working reimagined: A look inside Vuka Co-op's whimsical wonderland

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One of the many lounges inside Vuka. Courtesy of Vuka Coop
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Outside of Vuka Coop. Courtesy of Vuka Coop
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A gathering to watch a film inside Vuka. Courtesy of Vuka Coop
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Vuka Coop Courtesy of Vuka Coop
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Nestled among the houses of Bouldin Creek lies a titanic 7,000 square-foot warehouse. You may have seen it as you passed through Monroe Street; the broad metal facade is unassuming upon first glance, but dive deeper to find the equivalent of Alice's Wonderland for creative professionals.

Formerly a government documents depot, the space is now called Vuka, a co-working, event and community space with a Pinterest-worthy collection of found and repurposed furniture for sale scattered in between. It's difficult to define this co-op with one single name, but that's what makes it all the more unique.

During the day entrepreneurs and freelancers can work out of the space ($125/month for undesignated desks and $300/month for designated desks) and by night, the space transforms into an event hall or classroom, depending on who is using it. No matter what you call it, fostering community and igniting creativity is the overarching goal.

For anyone interested in design and adaptive reuse, Vuka is a breathtaking study. Guests step through the front door into an enchanting potpourri of old post office desks, Airforce table tops and school chairs, all for use by coworkers. (And, at Vuka, you don't have to have dream of owning such prized antiques — you can buy them all too.) Highlighting the room are chandeliers made from discarded dwarf yaupon trees.

Local artwork hangs on the wall and a food and drink station boasts local Kombucha on tap, coffee, various snacks and goodies. Dig through the hallways of the first floor and you'll find conference rooms, work areas and art studios available to coworkers or those who want to drop-in for the day. Exit the back door into the large backyard complete with fire pit, hammocks and a bubbling creek, perfect for fireside yoga or outdoor weddings.

In the second story loft, two rooms exists: one for dedicated coworkers, the other a community classroom. Every week you'll find various yoga, tech and art classes hosted in the communal room. It is up here that you'll find even more incredible furnishings such as screens from a Japanese farmhouse, Mexican doors and benches from a New York City train station.

"The purpose of Vuka is to have a space where people can come together and create," says Founder and Creative Director Brian Schoenbaum. So it should be no surprised that Vuka is the Zulu word for "awaken."

The co-op employs seven people and has a council of 12 that help keep the space evolving. In addition to filling rooms with ambitious self-employers and entrepreneurs working remotely on a daily basis, the Vuka calendar of events has been filling up fast. A packed schedule of weddings, F1, film premieres and SXSW parties are making this space one of the premiere rental halls in Austin.