Paul Hu is the General Manager of the Naked Hub on Fuxing Road in the heart Shanghai. This Naked Hub is first in the series of four planned to create a creative co-working community that brings together a cool, fun, diverse group of companies and people where everyone shares resources and helps each other.
Paul describes the core concepts and the values of a health, environmental awareness and sustainability are being brought into the work place at the Hub, the latest addition to the Naked brand founded by Grant Horsfield in 2007 when it provided a refuge for city dwellers in Moganshan.
The official launch party for the Naked brand is scheduled to be held on the eighteenth of November at the hub, 2015.
So now without further delay lets begin.
NJM: Hi I’m with Paul Hu and Paul is the General Manager of the new workspace that has just opened in… Where are we?
PH: We’re in Fuxing Lu the exact address is 1237 Fuxing road on the third floor next to Xiangyang Road
NJM: And can you just describe what you do here
PH: Sure we are a creative co-working community; we’re not just about the space. We’re about bringing cool, fun diverse group of companies and people together and create a community where everyone shares resources and help each other.
NJM: OK so can you give me a tour?
PH: Sure, sure so here we have the living as part of our membership. All of our members can host events in the living room for free it’s a great benefit. It’s a great space. Up the stairs leads directly to the forth floor. We have both the third and the forth floor. We have about two thousand square metres we seat about three hundred fifty people. Hear at the bar we have a really cool nine metre wide green wall.
NJM: Why green?
PH: Because Naked is all about sustainability, green, being good to the environment and also sustainability in terms of health as well. Being healthy work life balance etc. So green wall, it’s all real plants. It’s kind of our signature.
NJM: Oh they are real plants. I didn’t realise that. I just assumed that…
PH: They are real. So we not only have a great filtration of air in place we generate actual real fresh air with our green wall.
NJM: Because most of the workspaces I’ve been to in Shanghai have concrete floors, very cubicle like and this workspace looks ideal to hold relaxed meetings rather than industrial type of place.
PH: That’s true, that’s the feel we’re trying to give off and Naked Hub is done by Naked Retreats. So it’s definitely got that feel of being one with nature, , relaxed, comfortable.
NJM: The whole Naked Retreats maybe I will have to look into that and bring somebody back to talk about that some other time.
PH: Oh we will, yes. Definitely
NJM: OK. Lets carry on
PH: OK. Well at the bar we have great filtration water, we have coffee, soda and also beer completely free to all of our members. Here we have a couple of vending machines which we will have some healthy juices, fruits, sandwiches, simple fruit salads. Provide healthy food for our members.
NJM: And this space is well lit. Lots of daylight coming in.
PH: Yea, right. The building, we actually have 360 degree windows, so a lot of lights. Here turning the corner we have a conference room. We call it the Xiao PingPang Room.
NJM: Why is that?
PH: In tribute to Deng Xiao Ping. Also our conference table is a ping-pong table. So we can remove all the dividers, and after hours you can play ping pong. So we basically have two types of seating the private pods (POD), small offices, and also the open desks. We can take a look at them.
NJM: What’s this area on the right?
PH: This area is the meeting booth. They’re more casual. With our conference rooms obviously you have reserve but the meeting rooms you don’t. So it’s casual meetings, you can have lunch, you can chat with your friends. Here, for the open desks. So these are dedicated desks for our unlimited members. In terms of our pods, right lets to into one. Our pods are constructed double paned on everything so when we close the door the sound proofing is quite good.
NJM: That could be quite useful for somebody like me whose doing podcasting.
PH: There you go
NJM: It’s a bit echoee in here
PH: You know what? I just realised that. Right. I think you’re the expert on the sound, yea.
NJM: But in terms of a work environment if you want to keep the noise out then you can. But I think that you have a solution.
PH: Exactly. We have a silent room on the forth floor which is completely sound proofed and completely private. So that somewhere where a lot of podcasting and other work can be done.
PH: Oh. Each pod has it’s own light dimmer and also thermostat so you can control your own temperature in each small office. And here we have another area of open desks. The pricing is quite simple it’s per desk per month, per seat per month. No matter what the location of the open desk or pod. Everything is per seat per month.
NJM: And has pricing been sorted out?
PH: It’s been sorted out. If you’d like the pricing please contact me, and we are doing some great promotions right now. Because right now for us it is about the community, so building in the beginning is the most important. Building that core community. We find the right group of people, then everything else can happen around them. That ecosystem can grow all by itself so right now for the type of companies that we feel that matches our brand we are willing to give a great promotion, great package to bring them in. We’re will to work with their budget to bring them in.
NJM: So you’re being selective?
PH: We are being selective in terms of wanting some companies and giving really great incentives for companies and people that we feel can help us build this community together.
NJM: OK, What type of area is this?
This is our biggest pod. This is a nine people pod.
NJM: And do they have the choice of how they lay the space out.
PH: They do. All of our desks none of them are built in. All of them are movable. It’s just we laid out the power plugs very nicely for each desk along the wall for example for these pods, so each desk has it’s own power and line, feel free to move the desks but it’s more efficient keeping it this way.
NJM: And this area over here, what’s this?
PH: Oh. This is still an open desk area. We’re throwing a big launch party for our entire brand on the eighteenth here at Hub so we’re bringing some models.
NJM: And the models are?
PH: This is a new project that Naked has at Xiaoxing. It’s called Naked Spring, I believe. This is called Naked Creek. We also have a Naked Castle that will be launched next year. We have a very exciting Naked Sail it’s a yacht down in Puchet. A lot of Naked projects going on right now. It’s very exciting times for us. In terms of Hub, this is the first location on Fuxing Road. Our second location is opening next March in Nanjing West Road, in Jingan, and then Lujiazui will open right after that, so shortly after that it will be Hongqiao. So we’re launching four at a time, and that’s actually one of the cool things. We provide very good flexibility so if you join our Fuxing Hub you are able to use any of the other Hubs.
NJM: That’s a good option for entrepreneurs
PH: Right the flexibility I think important, and also speaking of flexibility this location is twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours, Seven days a week, three sixty-five days a year so they can come in any time.
PH: Oh this is! We’re walking past the Mandela Room. Our founder Grant is from South Africa so it is a tribute to Nelson Mandala, The Mandela Room is a general meeting room that people can reserve by the hour. This is a print station with a membership here you get fifty print pages per seat per month. Obviously we’d like for people to save more paper and print less any additional pages is just one RMB per page. We’re not trying to make money were just recovering our costs. Here we have our bathroom. We do have showers on site in the bathroom we have a small workout area upstairs. You can workout be health, shower and get back to work.
NJM: And as you can hear some noise in the background, that’s because there is a lot of construction still carrying on.
PH: Some, yea. We’re tying up the last minute details here on the third floor. There are more constructions going-on on the forth floor. All happening at night though. We try not to do anything noisy during work hours. So we’re not disturbing our members
NJM: And I’ve noticed these coloured symbols.
PH: So we’ve sectioned off our hubs with fruits. Again we are healthy, we are sustainable so this is the banana section. We have the pear, we have tomato, we have eggplant and upstairs we have I believe broccoli, we have peach and another fruit that I can’t remember at this point.
NJM: That’s OK.
PH: So this pod is Banana One, That’s Pear One, Pear Two, Pear Three. Oh and these guys on the wall this our mascot. We call them Hubbies. They all have a different head. This is a scientist guy. We have one that’s idea guy with the light bulb. I think over there is a statistician and a beer dude. I guess that’s the party guy. That’s the idea of hub. We bring different people from all different parts of the world, different industries all together to create this amazing community.
NJM: And if anyone wants to get in touch with you how can they do so.
PH: Please contact me anytime. My email is (p a ul. h u at n a k e d r e t r e a t s . c n ) Mobile maybe easier 18602158348.
NJM: Thank you very much
PH: Right. Thank you.
NJM: And I’ll be keeping in touch with you.
Awesome. Thank you so much.