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These days coworking spots need to offer more than bottomless coffee and regular happy hours if they want to attract the city’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. In the Flatiron district, one crowd-funded space is setting the bar for balance.
Workplace wellness is a 43 billion dollar industry, according to the Global Wellness Institute, but The Assemblage—New York’s coworking space “designed around mind, body and spirit”—wasn’t launched purely to satisfy a niche. It was born of a spiritual experience.
Rodrigo Niño, a Colombian real estate crowdfunding expert with a vast portfolio of Manhattan projects, was in the midst of a cancer diagnosis. At 41 years old, he was coping with stage three Metastatic Melanoma, and after two surgeries the prognosis wasn’t good.
Niño packed his bags and traveled to Peru—he’d heard about the perspective-altering experience of Ayahuasca, and hoped it might help him grapple with mortality. During his first shaman-led ceremony, the idea of The Assemblage came to him in a way that felt fated.
“I had a hallucination which showed me a societal framework in which individuals contribute their interests and passions to improve society as a whole,” explains Niño. “This is the premise of The Assemblage: to bring together like-minded individuals to combine technology, consciousness, and capital.”
Since it opened in November 2017, the Assemblage has been facilitating personal growth that spans career, intellect and, of course, wellbeing. Members can dine on Ayurvedic breakfast and dinner, and order herbal elixirs (think fancy non-boozy cocktails made with adaptogens and super foods) from the Alchemy Bar. They can also take daily yoga, meditation and sound experiences, and participate in a full schedule of wellness events and workshops with speakers as well-known and sought after as Deepak Chopra.
Memberships range from $200 a month for after-hours access with events entrance, to $4000 per month for a team-sized private lounge.
The first thing that strikes you when you walk into The Assemblage is the floor to ceiling moss mural, full of celestial imagery and scared geometry. In fact, the outdoors features prominently; everywhere you look there are decorative nods to nature, from coffee tables made from sections of petrified wood, to rock-and-succulent centerpieces, and dried, painted shelf mushrooms affixed to walls. Glossy pot plants—2,530 of them including some more than 6 feet tall—are dotted throughout each floor, providing nature deprived New Yorkers with a bit of green therapy.
Intellectual and creative generosity is encouraged here, as are meaningful, sober interactions with the community. When it comes to creating authentic connections rather than hollow business-only ones, The Assemblage definitely has the edge over coworking spaces.