Naples-based Venture X marries professional office design with the calming effect of nature, using earth tones, biophilia and mid-century modern furniture to create a hip, urban co-working space that promotes health and productivity.
Father and son entrepreneurs David and Brett Diamond, who opened the original Venture X in Mercato in 2012, hired Fort Myers-based Studio+ to design a larger, 18,500-square-foot space on the top floor of the Lutgert Professional Center, just south of Pine Ridge Road at 4850 U.S. 41. Built by DeAngelis Diamond and designed by David Corban Architects, the Class-A professional building incorporates LEED practices and is Certified Gold Standard.
Business members, who range from tech and investment firms to health companies, pay $40 per month for a community membership, while private offices start at $875. The new space opened in April 2021, and franchises are in 14 other states, France and Australia.
As elevator doors open to the third-floor hallway, a staggered-plank, layered, light-oak wall greets visitors with “Venture X” in bright green moss. Sunlight from floor-to-ceiling, insulated windows surrounding the perimeter brightens the space, which features light-oak planks suspended from delicate wires that hide LED lighting and ductwork.
“Everything here is based on keeping it as natural as possible, so it’s a calm environment and very welcoming,” says sales director Kathryn Parker, adding that it received Blue Zones certification. “David’s idea was to bring the outside in.”
Valerie Marino, design principal at Fort Myers-based Studio+, said the space represents a refined light-industrial aesthetic, with exposed concrete ceilings and walls and reclaimed timber floors. Wellness features include touchless entries, touch-free faucets and hand dryers and an HVAC system with interior-duct UV lighting and advanced filters.
“At a time when health and wellness is on everyone’s mind, the design concept intends to bring the outdoors in by incorporating live vertical gardens and bio walls, sustainable wood finishes and an abundance of natural light,” Marino says. “Given the orientation of the building and its 360-degree access to natural sunlight, we took careful consideration of space planning to ensure all working areas received views of the outdoors.”
Miami-based Plant the Future, an award-winning biophilic design studio, created plant walls and accents to promote wellness, a connection to nature and productivity. Potted tropical plants decorate seating areas and botanical pieces sit atop tables, shelves and consoles. The event space features various tropical plants, while tall cacti line windows of two plush lounges with expansive cream-colored sectionals and armchairs. Fort Myers-based Interior Plant Scapes provides weekly maintenance.
“Furniture, artwork, lighting and other materials were carefully selected to duplicate a mix of office and the comfort of home-based working,” Marino says, noting that common-area materials and finishes reflect the Venture X brand. “The 70 private office spaces allow tenants to customize, giving them the freedom to express their own brands.”
Herman Miller office chairs are provided at desks and cubicles, while casual mid-century modern oak and walnut furniture—consoles, tables and seating from West Elm and Restoration Hardware—are in common areas.
The café and communal break room contribute a sense of community, Marino said, by offering local craft beverages, including free Narrative Coffee Roasters cold brew, Flying Eagle Kombucha and coffees from The Java Butler. Members can swipe debit cards to purchase food, snacks and beverages at the café, which opens out to an expansive lounge with plush white-cloth sectionals and chairs, and functions as an after-hours event space for 125 people.
Three spacious conference rooms offer tables up to 14 feet long, transparent cream-colored privacy curtains, TVs, phones, digital equipment for virtual meetings and whiteboard walls.
In a 30-person training room, large cushions sit on stadium-seating platforms, and the Podcast Room features oak paneling, acoustic felt walls and state-of-the-art live production audio and video equipment. Four “phone booths” lined with acoustic felt and magnetic holders for phones and headsets allow private conversations. For those who exercise or ride bikes to work, showers are provided.
And when members need to relax, there’s a private wellness-meditation room with plants, a salt lamp and an armchair. “Peace” is written in dripping moss and a sign urges “Just Breathe.”
“Members want to walk into an environment where they can work and be passionate with like-minded people,” Parker says. “Venture X gives you an opportunity to be conversational, or to choose your own spot to work.”