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31 May 2019

Secrets of China's spectacular quarry hotel are revealed

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
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Quarry-hotel-exterior: The hotel is designed to resemble a 'glass waterfall'. Image from IHG
The designers of a Chinese hotel built into the side of an abandoned 88-metre quarry have been explaining how the ambitious concept became reality.


The futuristic InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, which opened in November 2018 and is located in Shanghai's south-western suburbs 30km from the city centre, staged a forum on May 20 which featured those behind the project, including architects JADE+QA and interior designers CCD.

Developed by Shimao Group and managed by IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the luxury hotel is built into the side wall of a former rock quarry that had been abandoned since 2000. The hotel was nominated as one of the architectural wonders of the world by the National Geographic Channel’s MegaStructures series due to its pioneering architectural design.

Located beside Tianma Pit at Sheshan Mountain Range, the 336-room hotel is mostly subterranean and referred to by designers JADE+QA as a 'groundscraper'. Two floors are above ground and 16 below ground, including 2 floors underwater beneath a man-made pond.

The exterior design of the hotel is intended to resemble a 'glass waterfall'. Only two levels are above the cliff top, and a grass roof over the top floor lessens the visual environmental impact at ground level.

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Quarry-hotel-room: The underwater rooms are encased within a turquoise aquarium. Image from IHG
There is an underwater loft with two levels: the landing deck at water level houses the outdoor terrace and bedroom, whilst the underwater living rooms are encased within a turquoise aquarium where guests can observe schools of fish swimming past their windows. The hotel also features a conference facility for up to 1,000 people, a grand ballroom and restaurants and cafes.


Activities on offer include rock climbing, kayaking and a spectacular light show every night. Suites cost CY3,400-CY3,800 yuan (US$489-US$546) per night.

Construction of the hotel, the 200th opened by IHG, took 12 years from concept to completion and cost CY2bn (US$287.9m). Construction work began in 2012 after numerous delays over concerns such as stabilising the rock faces adjacent to the hotel wings. The chief designer was British architect Martin Jochman, who is chairman of JADEQ+A.

The May 20 forum held at the hotel was divided into two parts, with speeches and then round table discussions with the architects and interior designers. Media, designers, real estate developers, professionals and entrepreneurs from the industry discussed the integration of architecture and interior as well as trends in international design.

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