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Architecture

A look at the world’s first underground hotel built in an abandoned quarry

While most five-star hotels offer views of cities, beaches, or mountain ranges, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland will offer something different: a view of the underground.

The luxury hotel, located in the town of Songjiang about 35 km southwest of Shanghai, is being hailed as a modern architectural wonder. It’s not hard to see why.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

It was constructed in a span of a decade on the side of an 88-metre-deep abandoned quarry. Once it opens in October, it will feature 337 rooms spread across 18 floors – 16 of which will be below ground and two will be submerged under water.

Each room – save from those underwater – will have a balcony that offers views of the waterfalls cascading down the craggy pit and the transparent glass waterfall built at the centre of the building.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

The top floor, located at ground level, will have a lush rooftop garden. The two underwater floors, meanwhile, will house a restaurant and guest rooms that face a 10-metre-deep aquarium. A swimming pool and other leisure facilities can be found at the lowest level.

For adrenaline junkies, the 61,000-square-metre resort will also offer bungee jumping and rock climbing activities from its surrounding cliffs.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

According to British design firm Atkins, the project is a stunning feat of architecture and engineering, having required more than 5,000 architects, engineers, designers and workers to finish the job.

Chen Xiaxiang, the hotel’s chief engineer, added that the project was so unconventional (he described it as a “fight against gravity”) that his team developed new methods which led to 39 patents.

In terms of green architecture, the development was crafted with eco-friendly design principles and will generate its own power, heating, and lighting via geothermal and solar energy.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

Set near the Sheshan Mountain Range, Sheshan National Forest Park, and Chenshan Botanic Gardens, the hotel will be marketed to tourists who love the outdoors.

But if you’re not into that, you could always just go there for the quarry as it is a destination in itself.

You can learn more about InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland here.

Via Design Taxi

About the author

Inigo is a writer and graphic designer from Manila, Philippines. He is a soldier of love who will carry you on his strong back of awesomeness when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

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