Whether you are in Auckland, Sydney or New York, co-working spaces all have the same vibe. They might be housed in an old warehouse or a modern building, but inside they tend to all share a similar aesthetic and attract the same sort of tenants. This even holds true for Biella, the small northern Italian town where my partner and I live for part of the year.
My Italy workspace is SellaLab, a re-purposed, 19th century former textile mill, owned by the Sella family. The family started out in textiles in the 16th century and subsequently moved into banking. A smart move as it turns out. While sadly, Biella’s once thriving textile industry has now almost vanished, Sella’s banking business is growing and innovating.
Having sat derelict for decades, the Sella textile mill buildings are slowly being renovated and now house the innovation centre for the Sella Bank, an incubator for FinTech start-ups, a FabLab and the co-working space called SellaLab. A bustling hub of innovation in an otherwise beautiful but traditional Italian town.
The original textile mill buildings on the banks of the River Cervo.
The internal courtyard has the ambience of a village piazza.
The SellaLab tenants include young tech workers, designers, social entrepreneurs, and a fledgling alternative high-school.
The perfect workshop space.