2025 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146
NextFab is a highly successful maker space and collaboration hub based in Philadelphia, with several locations in the region. State-of-the-art tools and technology like robotics, laser cutting and engraving, 3-D printing and a full array of machine and wood working tools are available both to members from the public, and by staff members who can collaborate with designers to implement their vision.
IMAGE © NEXTFAB
At the NextFab flagship location in South Philadelphia, SPA was engaged to brainstorm and collaborate with the team at NextFab to transform and evolve the upper level of the facility, where they were implementing a combination of electronics lab, laser cutting, and shared long and short term leased space for tech and fabrication-centered start ups and small companies that could then thrive by being in proximity to everything they would need to do mock ups, rapid prototyping, and collaborations. Shared lounge and meeting space would complete the picture for their business accelerator and incubator programs.
A successful makerspace is a collaborative workspace that is a welcoming and productive space for people to learn and share skills. With that in mind, the programmatic organization, acoustical conflicts and circulation flow were the primary factors considered when designing the new space. The budget was tight, so the solutions needed to be about careful examination of available space, existing components, and thinking along both short and long term pathways, that would yield immediate improvements but also cue up pre-planned future upgrades, all while striving to remain fluid and flexible in a sector that defines itself by constant evolution and change. The 3,800 SF space is now functioning more effectively for its growing community.