rural ceramic factory renovated to become 'brickyard retreat' hotel by LLLab.

rural ceramic factory renovated to become 'brickyard retreat' hotel by LLLab.

from ceramic factory to brickyard retreat hotel

 

Hidden among the rural Beigou Village, at the foot of China‘s Great Wall, lies the Brickyard Retreat renovated by architecture studio LLLab. The original structure of the boutique hotel has a rich history, having once served as an independent tile firing workshop known as the glazed tile factory. When demand declined, the factory found new life in 2010 as a hotel, embracing its heritage in its new name. Owned by local villagers passionate about architecture and Chinese culture, the brick complex has become a cornerstone of the village’s cultural identity. Now, the village is experiencing a surge in cultural tourism — the project by LLLab. exemplifies a promising strategy for sustainable development which prioritizes rural revitalization alongside cultural preservation.

lllab brickyard retreat
once a glazed tile factory, the Brickyard Retreat in Beigou Village is now a boutique hotel | images © Arch-Exist

 

 

lllab. looks to the past to shape the future

 

The architectural intervention by LLLab. at the Brickyard Retreat is a thoughtful response to its heritage. Three key elements — glazed tile, old kiln, and red brick — serve as the guiding principles. These elements embody the cultural legacy of the factory, the architectural history of the space, and the village’s local identity. The architects have leveraged these elements to define program spaces, landscape features, and a sense of respect for the site.

 

The main building of the Brickyard Retreat houses the original tile burning kiln, and has been transformed by LLLab. into a multi-purpose reception area, perfect for gatherings. The floor is finished with a mosaic of tiles in both natural and bright colors, a nod to the building’s history. This blend of historical elements and contemporary design fosters a stimulating atmosphere that connects the retreat’s current purpose to its industrial past. Meanwhile, the north courtyard presents a contrasting experience. Here, red brick and a clear view of the Great Wall evoke a sense of connection to the local, rural life. This tranquil space encourages a slower pace for relaxation. The focus here shifts to the beauty of nature and the surrounding landscape.

lllab brickyard retreat
the rise of cultural tourism has spurred Beigou Village’s development

 

 

Glazed Tile: A Story Woven in Stone

 

The kiln’s architectural language, a sequence of cave-like spaces, is unified and amplified by the extensive use of tiles on the floors. Varying tile sizes and installation methods create distinct atmospheres in each space. Roofs, indoor and outdoor paving — each area features unique tiling patterns. These glazed tiles serve as a tangible narrative, conveying the building’s cultural heritage and history. The mosaics engage visitors through multiple senses with vibrant patterns and varied textures. Every detail emphasizes the importance of preserving and reinterpreting cultural heritage in today’s world.

lllab brickyard retreat
the Brickyard Retreat’s renovation respects the site’s heritage, using glazed tile and the building’s original kiln

 

 

The former kiln, the heart of the tile factory, has been thoughtfully preserved by the architects at LLLab. The existing interior texture remains largely untouched, with just one additional wall added for safety and comfort. This minimal intervention allows guests to experience the cave-like space from all angles, appreciating the unique, multi-layered deposits — remnants of the kiln’s industrial past. The arched porch’s extension into the main entrance serves as a powerful introduction, instantly connecting visitors to the building’s heritage. This gesture reinforces the kiln’s historical significance and its solemn architectural language.

lllab brickyard retreat
the main building’s program spaces feature a mosaic of tiles, hinting at the building’s industrial past

 

 

The Brickyard Retreat renovation playfully challenges traditional rural construction techniques and materials. The re-appropriation of these methods imbues the materials with new expressive qualities when placed within a fresh architectural context. Red brick, extensively used throughout the project as a tribute to the local heritage, takes on a newfound autonomy. It breaks free from convention, reaching a new level of local expression.

rural ceramic factory renovated to become 'brickyard retreat' hotel by LLLab.curving walls form meandering pathways and unfolding spaces

lllab-brickyard-retreat-renovation-china-designboom-06a

the north courtyard offers a tranquil space with red brick and a view of the Great Wall

rural ceramic factory renovated to become 'brickyard retreat' hotel by LLLab.
the design emphasizes the beauty of natural materials and celebrates Beigou Village’s craftsmanship

lllab-brickyard-retreat-renovation-china-designboom-08a

extensive tiling and brickwork throughout the project narrates the building’s history and cultural heritage

 

1/8
1
 
1
 
1
 
1
 
1
 
1
 
1
 
1
 

project info:

 

project title: Brickyard Retreat Renovation

architecture: LLLab. | @lllab._architects

location: Beigou Village, Huairou, Beijing, China

photography: © Arch-Exist | @archexist

 

project partners: Luis Ricardo, Hanxiao Liu
project team: Lingling Liu, Yujun Yan, Fei Chen, Yihui Zhao, Henry D’Ath, Matt Eshleman, Lingkong Yin, Ziyu Wei, Camilo Espitia, Anqi Zhu
structural consulting: LaLu Structural Consulting
construction: Wenjie Xu, Yi Wang and their team
interior finishing: Beijing Sheng He Li

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom
happening now! AXOR makes individual luxury a reality in the bathroom, and reveals its citterio C collection by antonio citterio.

architecture in china (1761)

brick architecture (312)

designer boutique hotels (148)

lllab. (5)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5