What Does a Workspace Built for Women Look Like?

There are more women than ever working in office buildings, but only a quarter of architects are female. Enter Alda Ly from The Wing. True gender equality requires a good deal of new construction. Materials were selected to optimize female comfort, furniture would be suitably proportioned; there would be spaces to socialize and others in which to retreat. The Wing’s first location opened in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, in 2016, and since then the clubs have been kept between 73 and 74 degrees, appreciably higher than New York’s mandated temperature of at least 68, and flouting typical guy-bod preference. Such are the concerns of designing for an emerging market’s needs, as women are filling a rising share of seats in new kinds of work spaces. “We’ll see how long this trend lasts,” Ly said, of the conspicuous roundness. “But for me, it’s not the pink, it’s not the curves.” It’s about offering a variety of spaces in which women feel comfortable.