The term co-working space might not sound that familiar to some people, but nowadays the place is like a necessity in big cities which require workers to use a shared working space to be their “temporary office”. The idea is to gather people from various working backgrounds to interact with others while maintaining their individual work in one space. That’s how co-working space was created and Gartenhaus is one of the pioneer in Malang. We had a chance to interview the owners of Gartenhaus Co-Working Space and they unveiled the beginning of Gartenhaus, and voiced out their views of creative workers and their business plan regarding the space.
Located in Jl. Kenanga Indah Malang, one would simply miss this place if they have never been here. Looking from the outside, it was not more than a regular house with a high wooden fence. We were perplexed to see that once the gate has been opened, we were admitted to a vast garden with tall trees and lots of plants. The co-working space only took like 20% of the whole space and it is divided into indoor and outdoor area. The owners, Agus and Robby greeted us warmly, and cleaned up a little bit since we came before their official operational hours. Agus is a seasoned architect whose work with wooden material is acclaimed by many, while his nephew Robby is technically an engineer who decided to open the business in December last year.
Having a decent job in engineering and were on his second year in the office, Robby decided that he had enough and returned to his hometown Malang to start a business. “I had an engineering background, so once I graduated I was instantly admitted into a top corporation. Its same routine and dull working environment made me realize that I did not want to be this way forever. Then I contacted my uncle, Agus and asked him whether I could make coffee in his workshop and made a business out of it,” explained Robby. Thankfully, Agus who owns the place agreed with Robby’s idea and let him run the place as he wished. “The name Gartenhaus was made recently. It was always known as ‘Rumah Kebun’, it was just translated into German with the same meaning to make it more sophisticated,” joked Agus. He said that the place used to be his workshop where he and his builders created furniture, or any interiors needed for his architectural work.
“If you ask me, the place has been a co-working space for more than seven years. Since my friends and colleagues often gathered here to hold meetings, workshops, or just had a cup of coffee while having small talks,” said Agus about the place. Gartenhaus has long been his lab too, where he does a research about wood and plants. He tests the durability, the strength of many kind of woods in this place and also observe the plant to see its shade, canopy’s width, fruit or flowers’ result in order to give the best advice for his clients. Agus also said that Gartenhaus has a purpose to be a platform for creative workers to interact with each other while working there and in return connect them in a collaborative way.
Gartenhaus is also functioned as a coffee shop which offer caffeine and non-caffeine based drinks, snacks and rice bowl. The pair seem to be completely idealist about the drinks and food they serve to the customers. “It needs to be top notch and manually made. We don’t have coffee maker machine, we roast it manually and use various traditional brewing technique like drip or tubruk. We don’t serve that powdered stuff that people buy to maximize their revenue,” said Agus half-jokingly. Robby then revealed that he learned tp roast coffee beans from Agus and asked his barista friends to teach him about brewing. Their coffee beans are locally sourced with their Arabica coming from Arjuno and Robusta coming from Dampit. We tried their Vietnamese coffee and Iced Americano which were Arabica based coffee and holy, they were good. Their peppermint tea was also something you have to try since it was made out of fresh peppermint leaves with good quality tea. They turn out to have exported their coffee to German with the brand “Jatimulyo” (the name of the village where the place is located). They also produce civet coffee (kopi luwak) and have four Asian civets, just at the side yard of the place. Gartenhaus also has two binturongs, ducks, chickens, and Agus stated that if they harvest fruits from the trees there, they would immediately serve it to the customers for free. There are Brazillian cherry tree, hybrid called Nangka-dak (a cross-hybrid between jackfruit and cempedak) and juwet (jamblang) trees. The more we know the more we’re convinced that it is also a zoo slash conservatory forest.
For your information, almost all the furniture there was handmade and even the decorative interiors were their personal collections. We felt like we were visiting our relative’s house and it exudes warmth and intimacy. The place boasts tranquility and close-to-nature experience which will make one’s mind become at ease and thus increases our productivity. “To be honest, we opened the place to test the water. We would like to see if this city is ready for a ‘co-working space’ concept, since in other big cities like Jakarta or Bandung, it is widely accepted,” added Agus. He gave an example of Bhima, who is a regular to the place. Bhima works as a lettering/typography artist and he does his work at Gartenhaus. There is also restauranteur, chef, barista, illustrator and other various creative people who gather there and in one sense, their goal has been achieved. They also plan to make regular workshop that is open for public. However, knowing Malang’s market tendency to swarm newly opened establishment, they said that some of the visitors only took ‘aesthetic’ pictures instead of working or sharing their work.
Asked about the response after its launching about less than a month ago, Robby admitted that he was overwhelmed. He did not think that the place would be this crowded, and every day their tables are fully reserved, then they unfortunately have to decline customers. “I am the server, cashier, cook, barista, and cleaner of the place. I think I need some help now,” uttered Robby who is a single fighter to run Gartenhaus. However, they both were uncertain about the future of the place. Agus missed its quietness when there were not many people there, at the same time he also wanted to build more space and even created several two-floor buildings which will be connected to one another with wood. We imagine it to become something like an elf’s house on Lord of The Ring trilogy which will look magical it it’s truly realized. No matter how the place would look like in another 3 or 6 months, we highly appreciate its existence and hope that Gartenhaus would create more creative collaborations. Psst, you better reserve first before going there to avoid full-house situation!
Gartenhaus Co-Working Space
Operational Hour : Daily from 15.00 – 22.00 PM (Friday off)
Reservation Inquiry : Robby (081293957466/WA) / LINE@ – @cah9643c
Instagram : www.instagram.com/gartenhaus_co
Location : Jl. Kenanga Indah No.1 Jatimulyo, Malang