Who says co-working spaces are only for big cities? There will soon be a place where you can go work in deep, untouched wilderness. The firm Carlo Ratti Associati is planning to build Pankhasari Retreat, which will be located in the Himalaya Mountains.


They chose a valley in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India as the ideal location for this project. The retreat is bordered by picturesque waterfalls on one side, and a swift river on the other. That’s quite a change from the surroundings of co-working spaces we’re used to, which mostly consist of busy city streets.

The project was developed in partnership with architect Michele Bonino from Turin, Italy, along with a team of more than 20 professionals. The buildings themselves were designed in collaboration with local craftsmen and residents. The retreat will be constructed using locally sourced materials, which will include stone, framed teak as well as the native Indian Rosewood called sissoo.

Local architecture of the area favors large verandas and overhangs, and these were also be incorporated into the design of the retreat. The traditional styles of building have been modernized though, in the sense that the overhangs and other elements will effectively protect the inhabitants from rain and sun. The retreat was also designed in a way that promotes natural cooling, shading and ventilation. The retreat will be made up of several residential units, each of which will be able to house three to four people in two bedrooms. The units will also contain a communal living space, studio, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. Teleworking facilities will also be built onsite and Internet will be provided via satellite.


According to the architects, the Pankhasari Retreat is being built to expand the concept of international living and working, while connecting local and global communities. Construction started in late August of this year.