An abandoned school in a mountain village in Beijing was transformed into a boutique hotel. Due to the restrictions, the structure of this rent property was not allowed to be changed. The project hired local villagers for construction in order to strengthen the connection with the village. Thus, we had to find a low-tech and light intervention strategy to reform the site experience.
We used 60,000 meters of hemp rope to transform the facades while barely touching the existing houses. Through the mesh of ropes, the original structure is revealed in different ways as viewers move, creating rich and dramatic light effect both inside and outside the rooms.
The site is situated close to a reservoir unseen from the site. We recreated the atmosphere of a waterfront settlement with a system of public paths elevated from the reflection pool, undulating up and down in gentle slopes.
Due to the extensive use of natural materials, the carbon footprint of the project is close to zero. At the end of the lease period, the ropes will be buried on site and return to dirt. All the natural materials will return to their life cycles in natural world.
Bio Domain Architects strives to reform the spatial experience with innovative site strategy. We consider “experience” as the core of all designs, and believe every site has its potential to generate unique spatial experience. By rejecting conventional models, we keep going back to the original nature of sites and programs to reinvent the logic and quality of spaces.
Mr. Xiaomeng Xu, the founder of the studio, was born in Beijing. He graduated from University of Pennsylvania with B.A. in architecture and then obtained Master of Architecture from Columbia University.