A Brickyard guestroom (Robert McLeod)
Big Rock House (Robert McLeod)
Brickyard gardening (EmilyTang Spear)
The Brickyard construction site (emily tang spear)
The Schoolhouse kitchen (emily tang spear)
View of Great Wall from The Brickyard (robert mcleod)
In recent features we learned how an American, Jim Spear settled with his Chinese wife Liang Tang in Mutianyu, a village below one of the most spectacular parts of the Great Wall close to Beijing. When they bought a small house there Jim never expected to be asked to help find a plan to save the village from depopulation and eventual possible extinction.
Many Chinese villages are facing this situation with the country's move towards urbanization. Jim's strategy of sustainable tourism where his original Schoolhouse project employed local people and sourced local food supplies attracted considerable attention and led to visits from many Chinese leaders.
Their latest project, 'The Brickyard' is a stunning example of transforming a former rural glazed tile factory into a boutique hotel today used for corporate events alongside weekend retreats for city dwellers wanting to be in a really attractive countryside district only ninety minutes from downtown Beijing. A great attraction of The Brickyard is the view of the Great Wall seen from every bedroom window.