6.24. “Great Wall Style: Repurposing Old Buildings & Materials”- Talk by Jim Spear

This talk is part of a speaking series, co-hosted by China Building Restorationarchitecture and design consultants anySCALE and the Courtyard Institute, in which we present informed speakers on building restoration and other related topics

The talk will be based on experiences detailed in Spear’s recently published book, Great Wall Style, an inspiring work that relates Spear’s building restoration projects across four villages near the Mutianyu Great Wall area (Huairou District of Beijing).

The book is based on Spear’s extensive personal experience and insights, chronicling the process of how he initially restored the Schoolhouse into a breathtaking restaurant,later the Brickyard into a boutique hotel, and several additional projects designing dozens of homes for clients in the area around Mutianyu. The Schoolhouse and Brickyard are sustainable tourism destinations that offer visitors a chance to experience Chinese rural life in the peace and comfort of sensitively and thoughtfully restored village buildings.

About the speaker: 

Jim Spear, fluent in Chinese and educated at the University of California, Berkeley, spent nearly 20 years doing business in China prior to moving full-time to his vacation house at Mutianyu Great Wall in 2005. He expanded and upgraded the home, turning it into a year round retreat. Spear’s passion for designing and building country houses became a business and today he has completed over 30 homes for clients from around the world. His projects have been featured in many Chinese and international publications, including Architectural Digest. When the mayor of his village asked him to help the local community, Spear and his wife and business partner Liang Tang founded The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu Great Wall, a for-profit sustainable tourism enterprise which has grown to include three restaurants, an art glass studio, a gallery, a unique resort comprised of rental homes dispersed across two villages, and an eco-retreat created from a re-purposed glazed tile factory, all designed by Spear. The Schoolhouse earned recognition for best responsible tourism practices in China in 2012 from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and was previously selected best tourism enterprise in Beijing’s scenic Huairou District in 2010 and won the HICAP Sustainable Communities Award in 2009.

Doors open at 7 and the talk will be from 7.30 to 8.30pm, after which there will be time for Q&A. Some light snacks and refreshments will also be provided.

Amazon link to the book “Great Wall Style” by Jim Spear


(a)    Adults: RMB 50/person

(b)    Students: RMB 20/person (Please bring valid student ID)

(c)    Small drinks and snacks will be provided




June 24th, 7:30-9:30pm


You can reserve your seat and pay in advance here: https://yoopay.cn/event/89723561

Limited seating reserving in advance is recommended.

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