Mengwu Town Center
Mengwu, Beijing, China
Hidden in the hills west of Beijing in a region historically known for supplying the Emperor with the country’s finest pears. The village has been re-envisioned to respect the old traditions and to open access to the hikers and explorers interested in escaping the City to partake in the fresh air and scenic mountainside of the Mengwu area. A series of iconic buildings set the character of the new Mengwu Town Center. An Arts and Cultural Center, the town living room, is the centerpiece with its folded roof plane of stout mass timber and delicate trussing creating a cloud-like roof over the arrival spaces. Views of the valley and of the center are framed by the flowing geometry of the architecture and the surrounding orchards. A family hotel is co-located with a mix of commercial and restaurant venues and a children’s fun land to provide year-round entertainment for the visiting families. A backpacker’s hotel borders a nearby courtyard providing flexible accommodations, a cafeteria, outfitters shops, and health center. A fruit workshop also occupies part of the hotel and allows visitors to learn about the local fruit delicacies and how to prepare them. The remainder of the village draws on the aesthetic introduced by these first structures to produce a vibrant community that reflects on its rich past and looks forward to new generations of interest in protecting the delicate and inspiring ecological microclimate of the Mengwu Valley.