Buro Beehive transforms disused buildings into flexible workplaces for creative entrepreneurial types. These sorts of "co-working" spaces are becoming ever-more familiar features of modern cities. Beehive's new BEEBOX offers something new, however. These secure, mobile self-contained one or two-person offices may just give its work hubs an edge.

Beehive describes the BEEBOX as a "complete workspace," that has no prerequisites for installation and use beyond the electric socket you plug it into. To show it off to Amsterdam's self-employed, Beehive has installed twenty BEEBOXes at its location on Cruquiusweg 146-B.

Locked up, the BEEBOX is enclosed in a perforated steel enclosure measuring 200 cm (79 in.) wide by 90 cm (35 in.) deep, with a height of 160 cm (63 in.). Unlocked, the BEEBOX divides into two units: a desk for one or two people and a storage unit with cupboards and work surface. The desk has lighting built in.

From Beehive's point of view, a major advantage of the BEEBOX is that it allows almost any disused building interior to be transformed into a full-functioning office in the relative blink of an eye. Provided the building's power system is up to the job, the only task remaining is to bring in an internet pipe and set up a wireless router or two. The need for expensive office fit-outs is avoided, making temporary, opportunistic use of disused buildings feasible: BEEBOXes can simply be relocated at the end of an agreement.

From the user's perspective, as someone that has dabbled in shared work spaces, I can attest to the advantages of the security offered by the BEEBOX. Not only does this add some peace of mind where leaving computer equipment on the premises is concerned, but it allows Beehive to offer this particular workspace 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A bugbear of many "flexible" workspaces is the inflexibility of their hours. Obviously, the BEEBOX is not an alternative to proper building security, but rather an enhancement of it.

If you're in Amsterdam, Beehive will let you try a BEEBOX for a day for free, after which rental is priced at €255 (US$340) per month, with flexible working arrangements from €14.50 ($19).

Source: Beehive, via Dornob