Idea Factory

Idea Factory

Architect
MVRDV
Location
Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Factories
© Xia Zhi

MVRDV transforms disused industrial building into a “creative factory” with a green public roof in Shenzhen

MVRDV as Architects

MVRDV has completed construction of the Idea Factory, a transformation of a former factory building in the Shenzhen urban village of Nantou that sustainably reusing and improving the building instead of demolishing and rebuilding it.The project contains a mixture of offices for the Urban Research Institute of China Vanke and offices for rent – yet despite this programme, its distinguishing features are public in nature: a stairway cuts its way through the six-storey building, leading to a rooftop with a series of “rooms” enclosed by living bamboo “walls”, offering a variety of amenities and activities. Nantou has roots as an ancient historic town but is now an urban village of Shenzhen, dwarfed by the skyscrapers that surround it.

photo_credit © Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi

The Idea Factory is the largest project in a number of renovations proposed by Vanke, all with designs by nationally and internationally renowned architects, which aims to accelerate Nantou’s transformation into a cultural and creative hub. Rather than demolish and rebuild, the design sustainably renovates a disused factory building, maintaining a piece of Nantou’s history while also having lower embodied carbon emissions than a new building.

photo_credit © Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi

The building’s original structure has been strengthened so that an extra floor could be added on top to maximise floor area. Meanwhile, the original façades have been removed, with the building’s concrete frame exposed and preserved to show traces of the building’s history. The new façade is set back from the edge of the structure, creating open loggias that wrap around the whole building. These allow for circulation and enable the chance encounters with colleagues that make for a dynamic creative environment.

photo_credit © Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi

Facing a small public square on the ground floor, a protruding tube-like structure clad in wood marks the entrance to the public staircase that carves its way through the building. Inside, the staircase is clad in mirrors and festooned with bright neon signs, creating an aesthetic reminder of the early days of Shenzhen’s urbanisation.

photo_credit © Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi

On the fourth floor, this staircase protrudes out the other side of the building – a chance to take in a view of the surrounding rooftops – before turning and continuing up to the roof. Upon exiting the staircase, visitors are greeted with a green bamboo landscape packed with amenities and activities. This is arranged to form a bamboo “maze” that divides the rooftop into different rooms, each containing a different activity: a glass box for performances and events, a variety of seating areas, a gym, a trampoline, swings, a tea house, a dining room, a dance floor, and a chess set.

photo_credit © Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi

This roof makes the project more sustainable both ecologically and socially: the bamboo creates a cool, shaded space and supports biodiversity within a dense urban environment, while the activity rooms provide social and leisure spaces in a neighbourhood that has historically been disadvantaged. “The Idea Factory shows us the wealth of possibilities offered by buildings that some may think are ‘dilapidated’ or beyond their useful lifespan”, says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. “Not only were we able to make use of this existing structure, we intensified its use – adding an extra floor – and wove it into the public realm of Nantou with its green and public rooftop.

photo_credit © Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi

It shows that the ‘hyper-new’ city of Shenzhen is entering its phase of reusing and renewing old buildings and turning them into the ‘new-old’.” MVRDV designed the Idea Factory for the Shenzhen Nanshan District Bureau of Public Works and Shenzhen Vanke Development. The design was completed in collaboration with the Urban Research Institute of Vanke, vaLue Design, and the Shenzhen Bowan Architecture Design Institute.

photo_credit © Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi
Caption
Caption
Caption

Read story in Deutsch

Project Credits
Architects
Product Spec Sheet

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Baumschlager Eberle Architekten’s Montagne du Parc demonstrates how concepts of sustainability can be implemented at an early stage of architectural completion
19 May 2022 News
Baumschlager Eberle Architekten’s Montagne du Parc demonstrates how concepts of sustainability can be implemented at an early stage of architectural completion

The largest project completed by Baumschlager Eberle Architekten in Europe to date, the new Montagne... More

Experimental Co-Housing Denver project by Productora provides a compelling model for centrally located, low-cost housing
17 May 2022 News
Experimental Co-Housing Denver project by Productora provides a compelling model for centrally located, low-cost housing

Only a few miles from the downtown area of Denver, this experimental co-housing project by Productor... More

Baumschlager Eberle Architecten create an architectural statement for a natural setting in Alpe Furx
17 May 2022 News
Baumschlager Eberle Architecten create an architectural statement for a natural setting in Alpe Furx

On a sloping site in the Austrian ski resort of Alpe Furx, this holiday and leisure development by B... More

Under the Willow Tree provides residents an ecologically-minded house in a beautiful green setting
14 May 2022 News
Under the Willow Tree provides residents an ecologically-minded house in a beautiful green setting

In the middle of the countryside at the highest point of the village of Ninove, Belgium, an existing... More

Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory reinterprets an existing industrial building in Milan
14 May 2022 News
Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory reinterprets an existing industrial building in Milan

In Milan, Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory project reinterprets an existing industri... More

Luconi architetti mix modern elements with traditional Alpine architecture
14 May 2022 News
Luconi architetti mix modern elements with traditional Alpine architecture

Located in the Alpine region of Madesimo, Italy, Baita MV by Luconi architetti comprises an extensio... More

OMA inverts theater typology by plugging three cantilevered theaters into a central cube
13 May 2022 News
OMA inverts theater typology by plugging three cantilevered theaters into a central cube

Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten see the Taipei Performing Arts Center as close as they have ever be... More

Top 10 Trending Armchairs
13 May 2022 News
Top 10 Trending Armchairs

Architects and designers use armchairs to complete spaces visually and functionally. Popular armchai... More