Co-working hub for the creative-minded to open in Dublin city centre

The Tara Building will also have a gallery space, restaurant and yoga classes

Nichol Gray of the Tara Building: ‘We want to contribute to that shared sense of community.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

A splash of colour on an otherwise nondescript, grey city street, has mystified passers-by with the promise of what lies beneath. Now the Tara Building is set to breathe new life into the area, launching as a co-working hub for enterprising creatives.

The building on Tara Street in Dublin is decorated with a signature eye-catching graphic mural by street artist Maser. The concept for the new co-working space was developed by manager Nichol Gray and landlord Luke Keily, who had been looking to do something with the space.

“The two of us found something we really had an interest in,” says Gray, who first came across the space when she held an exhibition last year for her In Place arts initiative. “We saw the potential for a social element in a place like this, and that we could in fact support the project and individuals, and do it in a way that’s financially beneficial to the space,” she says.

The Tara Building Creative Co-Working Space as decorated by Maser. Photograph: Eric Luke

Co-working spaces are not new in Dublin. The Fumbally Exchange was first launched in Dublin 2 in 2011 and has since expanded to Balbriggan and Waterford with more on the way. Co-Create offers hot-desks from €200 a month on Gardiner and Camden streets.


Collaborative approach

For Gray, the Tara Building is about developing a collaborative, community-based approach, and accommodating people with “really exciting, impactful work”.

“We want to contribute to that shared sense of community,” she says. “We want to make it a space that people will want to be part of.”

The 25-year-old has a background in arts administration and previously worked in the National Museum and Block T, an artistic and social enterprise near St James’s Hospital in Dublin 8. She has hot-desked herself in the past, but bemoaned the fact that it left her feeling that she could be “anywhere in the world, and interacted very little with other people”.

At the Tara Building, however, collaboration and networking will be to the fore. A gallery space and restaurant is planned for the ground floor, and Gray is in discussions with Our Table, a pop-up cafe based in the Project Arts Centre, which was launched to raise awareness of the need to end direct provision in Ireland, to relocate to the building.

But it’s not just about good intentions. “Remaining financially viable is so important,” says Gray. “It’s about striking a balance.”

Co-working desks at the Tara Building, which has room for 48 people will be available for €39 a week or €129 a month. The co-working space comes with fibre broadband, meeting rooms, a reception team, fitted kitchen and barista-style coffee, tea, beer and snacks, and a daily cleaning service, while for an additional fee, clients can avail of a telephone answering service, administration services, photocopying and printing.

Scholarship scheme

But not everyone has to pay. The Tara Building will also offer scholarships through its incubation scheme which will allow three successful applicants, most likely working in the arts/creative industries, to get a desk for free for three months on a rolling basis. The scholarship scheme is not yet up and running, but applications are being accepted. Serviced private offices are also available at the space.

Membership of the space will also give access to events and workshops and classes which will “improve people’s ability to work”, Gray says, with yoga classes in the morning, and photography, design and business classes in the evening. The classes will, initially at least, be included in the weekly/monthly fees, but people can also attend the yoga classes on a pay-as-you-go basis.

“Meditative” screen-printing classes will also be available, while the building, which has a fitted kitchen with full cooking facilities, will host events such as “come lunch with me”, where members will bring in and share food together over lunch.

While Gray concedes that the rates will probably go up in the future, they will remain competitive. “We want it to be as busy as it possibly can be,” she says.

Gray says the space has already had enquiries and she has a waiting list of people looking to view the building.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times