Nigeria’s tech community continues to maintain a strong position in the African ecosystem. The country’s high standing among the continent’s tech-progressive nations comes on the back of increased penetration and adoption of tech solutions in the past few years; a state of affairs unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
The tech landscape of the West African country is occupied by startups of different sizes and purposes, proof that a growing number of creators are building solutions to unique Nigerian problems. And as the landscape broadens and more brilliant individuals and startups continue to emerge, the importance of hubs that encourage collaboration, productive brainstorming, synergy, and exchange of ideas can no longer be underestimated.
Enter, SpaceNXT designed by Spacefinish
Designed by Spacefinish, an African company that provides future of work solutions to both local and global businesses, SpaceNXT is Union Bank’s innovation lab. It is a world-class project that captures the possibilities of an interconnected tech sector where greater impact and increased success can be co-achieved by members of Nigeria’s tech community. The lab was insightfully mapped to support close-knit operations and to serve as a launching pad where ideas are formed, reformed, and shared amongst creators, designers, and other players in the ecosystem. Its design also optimizes hybrid and remote work with pre-installed video and audio conferencing systems in meeting rooms fitted with the best tools for the current evolution of work.
Union Bank’s partnership with Spacefinish on this project was driven by an overarching desire to further tech frontiers in Nigeria. And this was the right fit, as Spacefinish is renowned for revolutionizing workspaces for the future of work by introducing creative and bespoke solutions at every turn. What resulted from that partnership is now recognized as Nigeria’s largest innovation lab, a futuristic and magical 2000-square-meter space nestled within Union Bank’s headquarters in Marina, Lagos.
A creative innovation lab for the future of work
Spacefinish clearly understood this assignment to build a hub where people would gather to innovate. This much is apparent in the innovative, storified approach they took in accomplishing the task. What welcomes you at SpaceNXT, right in the lift lobby, is a huge wall of digital art in the form of an electronic portal, a Rubix Cube installed at its core. This cutting-edge 3D artwork is surrounded by other 2D elements and strip lighting effects that accentuate the futuristic nature of the space. Created as a depiction of the metaverse — the next phase of the Internet, — the Rubix Cube helps you envision an alternative, virtual future of finance, payments, and wealth generation. With programmable QR codes rendered onto the walls, one gets the idea that Spacefinish intends for every visitor and viewer to experience the exploratory appeal of SpaceNXT.
They also played on the link between Union Bank and the media with an aesthetically pleasing 8mm Film Room which has the distinct feel of a theatre due to its seating arrangements. Inspiration for another meeting room was drawn from Battlestar Galactica, a sci-fi show which ran from 2004-2009. Built-in the shape of a spaceship, this room is aptly called Galactica.
For the lunch space aka the SpaceX Cafe, Spacefinish pulls the stops with bespoke creativity. Highlighted on the walls are wooden bowls, calabashes, and other elements of Nigerian culinary heritage, all decked in gorgeous traditional Yoruba fabric (Aso Oke), to portray their cultural relevance and how Union Bank always stays in touch with the culture.
The Quiet Room is where you hit reset, refresh and relaunch. Spacefinish captures the necessity of taking a break for maximum performance, a pause to help go further in the ideation and creation process.
Spacefinish’s goal is to continue to advance the way people live and work in our modern world through the delivery of solutions that align with the future of work. Similar tech companies with labs designed by Spacefinish include PwC, Facebook (Meta), and Google among others.