The We Company–the parent company of the coworking startup WeWork–has hired Mexican architect Michel Rojkind as its senior VP of architecture, leading all of WeWork construction projects. His first job? Overseeing the build of a 200,000-square-foot office in Bentonville, Arkansas. The news, which was reported by Dezeen, comes a year after WeWork hired Bjarke Ingels as its chief architect.
So what does this new hire mean?
WeWork continues to demonstrate champagne tastes in architects–Rojkind has his own practice, and likely was an expensive hire–and it is willing to spend its cashflow to land them. WeWork generated $1.25 billion in the first three quarters of last year, but it spent $1.22 billion to get there (even as it learned its funding from SoftBank would be vastly reduced). While major cities across the world may be bracing for an economic slowdown into 2020, CEO Adam Neumann has signaled nothing but bullishness, expressing that low lease rates are yet another “opportunity” for the company.
Rojkind’s portfolio features multiple distinct styles. He has built nearly Brutalist buildings, like the Foro Boca concrete cube concert hall on the Gulf of Mexico, as well as algorithmically generated formalist icons, like the National Archive Museum in Mexico City and glassy, contemporary skyscrapers like the R432. There’s no singular style for Rojkind, and that’s perfect for WeWork, since the company creates spaces that feel different by design, with ever-experimental business models to support them.