Charlie Weisman’s office situation was less than ideal. Actually, it was nonexistent. The founder of a New York arts organization, Weisman moved to Boston four months ago and spent most of his time working out of coffee shops. Great for the free wireless Internet connection and endless caffeine, not so great for printing documents or holding client meetings.
“A coffee shop has its positives and negatives, but if you’re trying to be professional, it just doesn’t work,’’ Weisman laments. “It’s the same for a home office. It’s less than ideal.’’
That dilemma led Weisman and his childhood friend and local architect Nima Yadollahpour to brainstorm a solution. There are several shared office spaces in Boston and Cambridge, but the duo wanted to create something that was less geared toward the technology industry, and more conducive to people who simply need a tastefully appointed boutique office space, a conference room, or a place to settle in with their laptops.
Their new venture, Oficio, in the former Salon Marc Harris space on Newbury Street, is an attempt to provide a refuge for those with coffee shop fatigue. Bathed in natural light from mammoth windows, the 2,300-square-foot loft space is dotted with George Nelson light fixtures and a counter of computers that overlook Newbury.
For a monthly cost of $100 to $300, patrons can use the conference rooms and large work area. They also have access to consultations with an on-site staff which includes an accountant, an attorney, and programmer.
Both friends had a say in creating the space, but Yadollahpour, 36, has more experience in the design realm. He started his own architectural firm, ONY Architecture, in 2004 with a focus on residential architecture. Earlier this year he was named one of New England Home’s top five designers under 40. And before striking out his own, the designer worked on multi-million dollar institutional architecture at universities like Harvard and Yale. Weisman has a civil engineering background but changed careers to found NYC Midnight, an organization that runs competitions for writers and filmmakers.
For Yadollahpour, Oficio gave him an opportunity to bring his modern design aesthetic to a broader audience.
“Boston’s got so much potential,’’ he said. “There are so many great architects and designers here. When people think design, they think New York City. Why can’t Boston have that?’’