Ordos Hilton Hotel by VMX Architects



Amsterdam office VMX Architects have won a competition to design a new Hilton Hotel in Inner Mongolia, China.


The round, 32,000 square metre building will incorporate 300 hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, conference rooms and a sports centre.


"In proposing a round building, we take maximum advantage of the view in every direction, while at the same time minimising the distances between rooms and hotel functions such as lobby, dining areas, bars, concert stage and swimming pool," say the architects.


The hotel will be located close to the Ordos 100 project, curated by artist Ai Weiwei, for which architects Herzog & de Meuron invited 100 young architects to each design a 1000 square metre villa. Scroll down to see some of the proposed designs in our previous stories.

The following information about the Ordos Hilton Hotel is from VMX Architects:


VMX Architects wins international competition for Hilton hotel in Inner Mongolia.

This weekend the developer of the project, Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Company, announced the winner of this international competition. VMX Architects will realise the Hilton hotel in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. Mr. Cai, CEO of Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Company, and member of the jury chaired by China’s most influential architect Qingyun Ma and Dean of USC School of Architecture in Los Angeles, praised the design and the creative energy of VMX during the presentation in Ordos.

Mr Cai has put Ordos on the map with the Ordos 100 project. For this he asked the artist AiWeiWei and the architects Herzog & de Meuron to select 100 young architects from all over the world to design a villa of 1.000 m2 each. Within a year since the start of the project a museum and a number of artist-in-residence studios have been realised, followed shortly by a restaurant and various housing. The execution of a large concert hall will begin shortly and the project for the Hilton hotel is also planned for this year.

The programme comprises a 5 star hotel with 300 bedrooms, diverse restaurants and bars, conference facilities and an extensive sports centre. The hotel complex is 32.000 m2 (gross floor area) and building costs are estimated to be 46 million euro’s.

VMX designed a large circular building in order to offer all the rooms a view to the desert-like landscape. All facilities are situated in the middle of the circle, protected against the barren climate of Inner Mongolia. Parking, kitchens and other service spaces are situated underground.

VMX didn’t only choose to design a functional (Western) project, but also gave the building various references to important elements of the Mongolian culture, such as the sun, the moon and the yurt, the traditional form of housing for the local population.

In commission for the Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Company, VMX Architects designed a contemporary international hotel for the city of Ordos. By not only relying upon the logic of and philosophies behind famous hotel concepts, but also taking into account the specific context of Ordos, the new Hilton Hotel aims on transcending the generic and at the same time symbolizing the spirit of Inner Mongolia.

The concept maximizes two existing qualities. The first is the surrounding landscape and the city of Ordos. The second is the adjacent country club functions, which are already foreseen for this site, especially the golf course.

The urban plan dictates a maximum height of only three storeys. Applying the average (rectangular) hotel plan would easily lead to long corridors, hence: long walking distances. Also, a rectangle is not the ideal form to integrate the building in the landscape. In proposing a round building, we take maximum advantage of the view in every direction, while at the same time minimising the distances between rooms and hotel functions such as lobby, dining areas, bars, concert stage and swimming pool. The rooms are divided over four levels, three above and one below grade. All rooms face the green landscape; all hotel functions are centred in the heart of the building. This inside space is designed as a spectacular collective world on its own, partly covered by a glass roof and so protected from the harsh climate.

In our design we intend to combine our rational, pragmatic, in a way ‘western’ perspective, with a more ‘eastern’, oriental approach. In our eyes, this eastern approach has a strong symbolic component. Considering this aspect we conceptualised the form of the building by referring to the Sun, an important Mongolian symbol, and the Moon from the nearby Moonlake. In its section, the silhouette of the yurt, the archetypical Mongolian settlement, can be recognised. The colours inside and on the outside of the building refer to the local natural colours of grass, sand and water.

From above, the hotel appears as a flower, symbolising its function of an oasis in the desert. This way the new hotel resort can be easily found by Google Earth, nowadays by far the most popular medium to discover exciting new worlds.

Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Company
Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China
Size: 32.000 m2

Ordos 100 villas on Dezeen:



X by Multiplicities


Inside Out - Outside In by Rocker-Lange Architects



Villa N°14 by Dellekamp Arquitectos


Luca Selva Architects


Estudio Barozzi Veiga

Posted on Saturday March 14th 2009 at 11:12 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • dha

    very china..

  • Alexander Etchells

    Where will architecture stop. I think we just need to stop building.

  • dan

    i knew that one day we not gonna need columns anymore.

  • scarpasez

    I feel bad for the Mongolian people. Apart from one or two passable house designs, Ordos just gets increasingly absurd. It’s like Dubai’s faraway turd. How embarrassing!

  • J

    architecture will and shall never stop…

  • navid

    they have tried their best

  • Boppie

    I agree with scarpasez. It’s very questionable if these kind of projects are of any use in this society. Ordos is completely over the top.
    Next to that, I’m not very impressed by this design, judging on the floorplans.

  • fooster

    The landing of a ufo, spreading some sort of viral infection on the beautiful Mongolian landscape….
    Does architects have to follow on the bad choices that the government and developers makes? This landscape needs to be left alone. but if someone decides to do something to it….it deserves a better resolution than what have been proposed

    and to DHA. what do u mean its very China? the clients can make mistake, but the architects need to resolve it with elegant resolution. too bad most of the worlds building are done by ppl who couldn’t give a damn about its implication. So lets not point fingers at anyone but ourselves. (assuming u are in the field of Architecture).

  • yimyim

    its true architecture is increasingly selfish, at least alot of the ‘big’ stuff. There are a ton of great non ‘star-chitects’ who do sensitive work – it just might not make as good media…. But whats really dissapointing is it could be seen as a direct reflection of the interests of society…

  • One

    i.e. this project is a convention.

  • Richie

    It does really look like a UFO, or moon base.. What worries me about most of these Mongolian\ORDOS projects is the lack of specific local context in the description and images.. They all seem to be sitting out in the middle of some blank generic expanse of countryside, and correspondingly the architecture looks like it could be dropped down in any landscape, anywhere. What is it relating to exactly? You do get the feeling that the architects are just using it as excuse to go wild with whatever fantasy ideas they’ve been storing up, as opposed to taking the specific traditions and topography of the area into account. The line in the text about a plan shape being chosen to make the hotel easy to find in Google Earth made me laugh out loud…

  • g

    J says ‘no til the casket drop’ ??

  • MRN

    In this bad economy times, large scale hotel with the idea of an escape from reality is absurd. Can’t we re-think hotels now because this is more of a rich pompous castle that redicules the people around it. Inner Mongolia social fabric will present New Utopian Grand Plastic Society as the mirror image to Sin City.

  • mama

    Go New Dubai! Just what Mongolia needs. Genghis Khan would have been proud.
    Now I need to ask: Ai Weiwei’s father was apparently denounced by the communists and sent off to the gulag. While hundreds of thousands of peasants were dying under the communist rule though, young Ai was having fun at the Film Academy and spent the 80’s having more fun in New York? He’s been involved with H & deM on the Bird’s Nest but has then been critical of the Olympic Games, accusing others of exploitation. He seems to be everywhere where money’s no object. Could anyone shed some light on this hypocrisy?

  • yrag

    I love it! Since my chances of making it to Ordos Inner Mongolia are fairly slim, I’m looking forward to see the finished project.

    BTW @ Alexander Etchells—so what the hell are you doing here—National Geographic is calling.