Spaces – Cours Valmy (Paris, La Défense): IWG’s flagship building in Europe

International Workspace Group opened its flagship building in La Défense in Paris in January 2019. Spanning 18,000 square metres over 10 floors and featuring a terrace, it’s the biggest of its kind in Europe. A visit.

First impressions

You cannot miss Spaces Cours Valmy when you walk a few metres past the Grande Arche of La Défense. Huge logos are painted on the building and the entrance has the look and feel of an Apple Store or a store front on Fifth Avenue. Having been completely renovated before opening, the inside of the building looks very much how I imagined it: modern, spacious and colourful. The designers of this contemporary building have focused on ensuring that nearly everything can be recycled – a rarity – and the building has been awarded the “Well” label for the quality of its air, water and environment. Clients here represent 42% of big accounts, 35% start-ups & SMEs and 22% of freelancers or entrepreneurs. The building is almost full; as a matter of fact, a single client is renting 2 floors.

“Members of the IWG community can access more than 3300 centres around the world.”

Pimp my desk

Just like airlines today, IWG sells the workspace first, followed by a list of services. This may explain why the vast majority of people working here are employed by big companies: banks, multinational tech companies, consulting firms, etc. It’s not easy to satisfy these customers! Before they move in, they have their own requirements for IT services, custom office space set-up, security procedures and so on. This would be a nightmare for any random coworking provider but this is IWG’s bread and butter. These services generate added value, while the company’s ability to handle such requests creates a competitive edge. It is easier to manage 120 employees from one company than 120 freelancers. The pricing structure is also crystal clear: rent space for 6 months and enjoy a 5% discount. 12 months will give you a 10% discount and 18 months, the maximum rental period, is worth a discount of 15%. Simple, efficient, scalable and, most importantly, profitable.

The IWG community

For approximately €259 per month, depending on your location, members of the IWG community can access more than 3300 centres around the world. You can also opt, for example, for a fixed desk for 10 days per month. So, in theory, millions of people could come to the same Space on the same day, but the laws of statistics prevail and despite the 97% occupation rate during my visit in Paris, it was easy to find a quiet place to work or to make a phone call. All of this, right in the heart of Paris’ business district.

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