lllab. creates a 'village within a village' for hotel resort in rural china

lllab. creates a 'village within a village' for hotel resort in rural china

for a site in beigou village, beijing, lllab. has designed the ‘san sa’ hotel resort for people who seek a place away from everyday life to recharge the mind, body, and spirit. built on a 2,000 m2 unused plot of land, which was originally occupied by a gas station, the project has been conceived as an ‘inclusive rural oasis.’

all images © fernando guerra FG+SG



in respect to the site’s heritage, the project is arranged by lllab. to extend the existing spatial arrangement of the village, scattering the architectural volumes in-line with the typical plan, while combining those blocks into an integrated whole. this approach creates a spatial pattern and order that blends rather seamlessly into the local built environment. by subverting the stereotypical concept of rural tourism resorts, the design team intend to form a kind of ‘village within a village’.

view east terrace



within this particular environment of beijing, the selection, production and transportation of building materials posed many challenges throughout construction. therefore, lllab. tried to use local materials that were authentic and readily available, without introducing ornamental or decorative elements. the old slate as the landscaped pavement, the porous red brick in the private courtyard, the stone brick joints at the building wall base, and the collocation of red brick and blue brick used for building walls, all together create a rich material palette that focuses on the architectural geometry and tranquillity of the place. 

merging of the courtyards in the south



in addition to the humble materials, the courtyards in between the buildings also form an integral part of the design and overall atmosphere of the project. creating a kind of ‘courtyard neighborhood’, these spaces reflect those traditionally found in southern china and also provide a place to engage socially with others and the wider external environment. 

close-up view of the space between the buildings

overhead view of the courtyard

aerial view

interaction between the houses

red brick wall and the grey 

view of the guestroom and dark-toned timber surfaces

reflections in the guestroom

night view of the rooftop terrace in the east

the lobby cafe next to the water feature at night

the intersection at the east terrace viewed at night

night time view of the village

aerial view



project info:


project name: san sa village

location: beigou village, huairou district, beijing

site area: approx. 24,757 ft2 (2,300 m2) 

building area: approx. 17,222.25 ft2 (1,600 m2)

project schedule: 2015 – july 2019

project investor: 2049 group

architectural design: lllab.

construction team: san she inn (beijing) cultural management co., ltd.

construction drawings: china electric design & research co., ltd.

civil engineering construction team: yi wang and his friends

interior construction team: guobing zhou and his friends

deepened landscape design: shanghai di cui landscaping co., ltd.

landscape construction team: mr. cai and his friends

furniture consultation: cdc | brandcreation (austria)

uniform design / production: carpostudio (portugal)

photography: fernando guerra FG+SG


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    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.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,534 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample