Abstract This paper presents a new and effective method to construct manifold T-splines of complicated topology/geometry. The fundamental idea of our novel approach is the geometry-aware object segmentation, by which an arbitrarily complicated surface model can be decomposed into a group of disjoint components that comprise branches, handles, and base patches. Such a domain decomposition simplifies objects of arbitrary topological type into a family of genus-zero/one open surfaces, each of which can be conformally parameterized into a set of rectangles. In contrast to the conventional decomposition approaches, our method can guarantee that the cutting locus are consistent on the parametric domain. As a result, the resultant T-splines of decomposed components are automatically glued and have high-order continuity everywhere except at the extraordinary points. We show that the number of extraordinary points of the domain manifold is bounded by the number of segmented components. Furthermore, the entire mesh-to-spline data conversion pipeline can be implemented with full automation, and thus, has potential in shape modeling and reverse engineering applications of complicated real-world objects.