Some years ago, a British engineering firm Atkins proposed an extravagant design for a five-star hotel located deep within a 100-meter, abandoned and half flooded pit near the base of Tianmashan Mountain in the Songjiang District of Shanghai. Construction on the 19-story, 380-room Shimao Intercontinental Hotel finally is already underway. Initially the hotel was expected to be completed by May, 2009, but construction commenced only in March early this year.
The innovative design of the luxury resort hotel stands two levels higher than the rock face of the 100 meter deep quarry and includes underwater public areas and guestrooms. Instead of draining what water there is in the quarry, it will be flooded to become a sunken artificial lake. Two of the hotels floors housing guest rooms and a restaurant are to be situated underwater. An artificial waterfall will plunge down in front of the hotel’s facade and into the quarry, at least, according to the concept images. Curved wings of the main body of the guestrooms enclose a naturally lit internal atrium, which uses the existing rock face with its waterfalls and green vegetation. There will also be sports facilities and a ten-meter deep aquarium. Among other things, the hotel will feature an extreme sports center for activities like rock climbing and bungee jumping will be cantilevered over the quarry.
Artist’s concept of the Songjiang Hotel
The entire hotel is to be covered in a green roof, while the building will use geothermal energy for it’s electrical supply and heating. The quarry will also provide a good source of heat control and shelter from the environment.
“We drew our inspiration from the quarry setting itself, adopting the image of a green hill cascading down the natural rock face as a series of terraced landscaped hanging gardens.” said Martin Jochman.
The Shanghai Shimao Property Group has so far invested US$555 million into the entire resort, and hotel rooms are expected to start at $320 per night. The hotel is scheduled to open in late 2014 to early 2015.