It's been a month now since I started working in the hotdesking space at the Edinburgh TechCube.
I'd been looking for open office space for a while since moving to Edinburgh last autumn, having realised some time ago that I'm no longer able to work from home with any pretence of efficiency.
The TechCube is a just that: an uncompromising raw block of Brutalist architecture looming over the Summerhall junction. The hotdesking area is a large room at the foot of the building, with views of the junction and the park.
I like it. It's an unpretentious, bright, somewhat eccentric space, with tables and chairs of various hues, shapes and sizes randomly distributed across the room, which users are free to arrange as they see fit. As one would hope there are plenty of plug-in points, and the wireless connection is lightening fast. The various desks are not so much 'hot' as 'lukewarm': the regulars have established familiar seating patterns, but they're certainly not set in stone. You'll be relieved to learn that as I tend to arrive early I usually get the spot I like best, with a leafy view of tree boughs and shifting cloudscapes. There's a free water cooler, and the Summerhall coffee shop is just a couple of corridors away.
The hotdesking space, in common with what I've seen of the rest of the building, has a somewhat nostalgic ambience; for someone of my vintage, strangely evocative of 1970s sci-fi. I suppose that mid-1970s modernist architects imagined all buildings would look like this in 2013. There are wires and tubing coming out of the ceilings. There are some old machines and bits of circuits laying around. And there's an arresting little passage lit by strips of green light linking the Cube to the main Summerhall complex. Walking the building's corridors the thought occurs that it would make a decent set for a straight-to-DVD monster movie: the hapless protagonists locked in at night, a many-tentacled horror lurking round every corner.
Everything seems to be in a state of partial construction, the sound of distant droning tools echoing through the corridors. I like that: there's a cheerful sense of renewal and new beginnings. I've followed the story of the redevelopment of the TechCube for some time, and all concerned have done a remarkable job in transforming an all but derelict building in such a short space of time.
It's friendly. On entering the hotdesking area one surveys a vista of lone developers and little groups, hunched over laptops, headphones on. As usual with designers and developers scratch an inch below the surface and everyone is nice. I can do introversion with the best of them, but I'm getting to know a few people, friendly morning and evening nods turning into longer conversations. The TechCube staff are laid back and welcoming.
There's a sense of being at the hub of the Edinburgh tech community. I've started to make contact with one or two companies on the look out for contractors.
So, in brief, I recommend it if you are looking for a comfortable, friendly place to work. I should also mention that it's very reasonably priced: £80 a month, £8 a day when I last checked - I recommend taking a look the the TechCube site to check out current prices.