When Constant Tedder failed to find a suitable communal office when he moved to Hong Kong in November, the 42-year-old decided to open his own.
'Everything was either too corporate or too grungy. Nothing felt like the kind of place where I could spend my working day. And I didn't want to sign a long-term contract,' says Tedder, former chief executive of British-based Jagex Games Studio, who came to the city to explore business opportunities.
'I knew about the concept of a members' office space, which originated in America, and I'd been to similar places in London. I thought Hong Kong really needed a place which felt as comfortable as home but with the added benefit of being part of a community of like-minded people.'
The result is The Hive - a name that, Tedder says, 'embodies a spirit of industriousness as well as a strong sense of community' - which opened in Wan Chai last month. Designed by James Waterworth, the serviced office takes up two floors and features customised desks and furniture, a meeting room, broadband, a drinks station, a postbox for every member and a printing room, plus a 1,400 sq ft decked sun terrace.
The British designer says he wanted people to be as content socialising and networking in The Hive as they were working.
'We didn't want it to feel like the average office space,' says Waterworth. 'Both floors are very open - so as not to segregate anyone - and by using open shelving ... we have broken up the space and made it feel welcoming and comfortable.
'There's nothing worse, especially for creative people, than sitting at the same desk for 12 hours a day. If you can break up the routine by moving yourself and your laptop, or a book, to an arm-chair for an hour, your brain will [be] more stimulated.'
Natural wood and blackened steel create an industrial yet warm atmosphere. The space - which is being pitched at creative freelancers, entrepreneurs, dynamic start-ups and social enterprises - was chosen for its natural light and the terrace, where the operators expect to host events.
The Hive is on the 19th and 21st floors of Phoenix Building, 23 Luard Road, Wan Chai. For more information, visit thehive.com.hk or call 8173 6140.