The creative coworking space you’ve probably never noticed
Am Gronn in the Grund district of Luxembourg City
Photo credit: Am Gronn
Co-working spaces may sound like rows of offices where businessmen will spend their working day, but in the Grund district of Luxembourg-City there is another type of co-working space – for people working in the creative field.
Am Gronn is home to emerging Luxembourg artists and designers, welcoming an array of local talent, from Christine Faber and her Luxembourg in Lockdown watercolor series to striking graphics by Irina Moons, local craft beers or Hungry Pigeon bakers baking cookies. Matcha. It also has a creative boutique where artists sell their works and a bistro.
Its eclectic layout and location, in a cultural space in the heart of the city, also houses a creative boutique where artists sell their works.
âWe opened Am Gronn with the intention of bringing design and art closer to the public through exhibitions and creative workshops,â said one of the founding members, Maida Halilovic. The founders’ mission was to enable designers not only to share but also to explain the artistic process behind their work and to focus on âdemystifying the ‘high prices’ often attached to local handmade and sustainable creationsâ.
Halilovic and co-founder Irina Moons’ own experiences in the creative field give them insight into the challenges many independent producers face, such as finding funding opportunities when going on their own as a independent artist.
Launching Am Gronn in 2019 was no easy task.
” We initially planned to launch an Association [asbl – non profit organisation] and prepared our business plan according to how this model works, ” said Halilovic.
An art exhibition in Am Gronn
But the plan stalled when the rental of a coworking âofficeâ space was deemed far too lucrative for the association model and the two women had to adapt – quickly.
âIt put us back on all of our projects,â said Halilovic. âWe could not benefit from any financial support as a Sarl and therefore, the day before we received the keys to our space, we had to adapt the business plan in order to become autonomous.
But coworking has its advantages. Shared space equates to shared costs and this saves money. Each co-creator of Am Gronn has his own specialty: videographers, graphic designers, illustrators and even lighting designers.
âWe are all very complementary and try to work on different projects together,â said Halilovic. Their current joint projects include work for Esch 2022 European Capital of Culture, the INECC (European Institution for Choral Singing) and the UP foundation., an educational association.
In July, the floods that swept through Luxembourg devastated the Grund district of the capital and Am Gronn was forced to rethink his plans.
Friends, family and co-workers helped clean up the space on day one [of the flooding] and prepare it for the days to come. They brought buckets and towels, sandbags, food and stayed until the end, ” said Halilovic.
No one’s space escaped damage. Newly built enclosed wooden âofficeâ spaces and the bistro had to be completely dismantled in the process. But, perhaps the worst news they received was to find out that their insurance company wouldn’t cover any of the expenses. While the owner will foot the bill for the renovations, all content and material costs are lost, Halilovic said.
With the disappearance of rental spaces and the suspension or cancellation of scheduled exhibitions due to the start of renovations, this period proved to be a testing period for the fledgling company.
âWe have no idea when we can reopen again,â said Halilovic. âEntrepreneurship is difficult to manage, but the pandemic and then the floods are really a hard pill to swallow. ”
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