When Shimao chairman Xu Rong Mao discovered the abandoned quarry in 2006, he had a vision of Shanghai Wonderland.
It took almost 12 years though to complete the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel that opened its doors in December 2018. The one-of-a-kind subterranean, semi-underwater hotel about 20 miles southwest of Shanghai is a new concept and was a construction challenge. More than 5,000 people were involved in its completion.
The bold construction and design at the side wall of the Shenkeng Quarry that was abandoned after almost sixty years of excavation in 2000 is the first natural ecological hotel built in such a location.
The architectural plans for the Earthscraper as it was nicknamed foresaw the massive reduction of environmental impact as most of the building was built within the disused pit.
Only two floors of the 88-meter-high building are above ground, 14 are in the quarry and two floors are completely submerged in a 33-foot-deep aquarium.
Studio JADE + QA Architects in association with British firm Atkins came up with innovative engineering solutions for the 61,000 square-meter resort near the Chenshan Botanic Gardens and the Sheshan National Forest Park. Property development investor Shimao Group’s team envisioned even more than walking around nature and enjoying the greens.
The environmentally minded traveler can enjoy thrilling bungee jumping, rock climbing, and heart-stopping walks on the glass-bottom walkway built on the edge of the cliff. In the foreseeable future, zip lining and other outdoor activities are planned in the Quarry as well.
Lead architect and founder of JADE + QA Martin Jochman took on the challenge of the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel with sustainable ideas in mind. Apart from the hotel’s natural ventilation through air and water, he has also plans to install geothermal and solar energy equipment to generate the power for the ever day functions of the hotel.
The Shimao Group is also interested to extend the outdoor activities, add a shopping center and features to turn the quarry and its surroundings into a wonderful theme park for educational and fun purposes. All of this is to improve the competitive cultural tourism scene around Shanghai.
The 288-million-USD hotel is a unique establishment and promises customer experiences as they have not been seen and felt before. However, these come at a price: a night at the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland hotel is around USD490 including views of the waterfall and hikes on the quarry walkways and more.
Source: some photos of Shanghai Wonderland are courtesy of InterContinental, dailymail.co.uk, China daily.