Out-of-this-world design energises young start-ups

Entrepreneurship often requires out-of-the-box thinking, but for young start-ups at the Dream Factory in Shenzhen, it now comes with “out-of-this-world” design inspiration!

First designed in 2015 by leading Hong Kong practice Barrie Ho Architecture (BHA), the space-age building is located in the in the Qian Hai development zone of Shenzhen, an area dedicated to collaborative projects between mainland China and Hong Kong.

BHA was invited back to design Phase 2 of the Dream Factory – an extension including a new Incubation block, to nurture budding concepts to life, and an Accelerator, to fast-track promising solutions to commercial success. Now completed, the Accelerator is a striking feature of the complex, sitting atop the shell-like façade of the building.

Dream Factory

“Think of it as a comet landing on earth,” says company founder Barrie Ho. “The Accelerator represents a higher level of business and research after incubation, and so it is uplifted into the air above a contemporary quadrangle.”

With a clear focus on sustainability, BHA equipped the “comet” with a double skin structure to counter undesirable heat gain and provide cross-ventilation to the inner quadrangle, as well as offer significant energy savings.

The extension also included Youth Square, a courtyard space, linking with an iconic new entrance, to accommodate festive events and other outdoor activities.