Beijing MM Farm

Best Implemented Restoration / Reconstruction Project

About the project
An abandoned school in a mountain village in Beijing was converted into a boutique hotel. The structure 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 vibrant plays of light in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
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.

Beijing, China

Project implementation year

Project website

Applicant and authors of the project
Domain Architects strives to reform the spatial experience with innovative site strategy. We consider “experience” as the core of all designs. By rejecting conventional models, we keep going back to the original nature of sites and programs to reinvent the logic and quality of spaces.
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.
DESIGN TEAM: Xu Xiaomeng, Hannah Wang, Liu Zhipeng, Zhou Mingdi.

Other participants
CONSTRUCTION: Local villagers
PHOTOGRAPHER: Sun Haiting, MM Farm (a few images), Xu Xiaomeng (original site)


Thank you for your participation and support of the nominees!

List of the laureates is available here.