MVRDV Transforms Disused Urban Factory Building Into “Creative Factory” In Shenzhen

MVRDV has revealed design to transform a disused urban factory building into “creative factory” in one of Shenzhen’s most historic districts.

Called If Factory,  the new building, covering a total of 11,000-square-metre area, will house a mixture of offices for the Bureau of Public works of Shenzhen Municipality Nanshan district and real estate company Vanke in Nantou, Shenzhen.

Rather than demolish and rebuild, the design sustainably renovates a disused factory building to form a “creative factory”, containing a mixture of offices for the Urban Research Institute of China Vanke and offices for rent.


At the heart of the design, there is a public stairway, providing visitors with a view into the activities within and leading to a landscaped public roof terrace known as “The Green House”.

“Nantou is an ancient historic town but is now an urban village of Shenzhen, dwarfed by the skyscrapers that surround it,” said MVRDV in its project description.

“Recently attempts have been made to develop Nantou as a cultural and creative hub – the town hosted the 2017 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, for example – and MVRDV’s renovation project is the largest in a number of renovations proposed by Vanke, all with designs by nationally and internationally renowned architects.”

The main intervention is a simple cleaning and renovation of the old. With new transparent painting techniques, the old structure will be treated to resist aging.