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World’s First 5-Star Underground Hotel, Carved From Forsaken Quarry, Opens Doors
By Yoon Sann Wong, 19 Sep 2018
Come October, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland will officially open its doors to the public.
The hotel, which has been carved into the side of an 88-meter-deep abandoned quarry, has been dubbed a “modern architectural wonder.” It sits in the town of Songjiang that’s about 35km from Shanghai.
The project has taken over 5,000 architects, engineers, designers and workers combined to transform this hotel’s initial design from 2006 into a reality.
The five-star hotel boasts 337 rooms and suites scattered across 18 floors. Of these, 16 lie below ground and include two floors that reside underwater. Its rooftop is covered in lush greenery and the hotel has been designed around eco-friendly principles, such as power generation using solar and geothermal energy.
Guests can enjoy views of the waterfalls cascading down surrounding cliffs via balconies, while a transparent glass waterfall sits at the core of the building. The two underwater levels house the hotel’s restaurant and additional guest rooms that face a ten-meter-deep aquarium. At its lowest level, guests will find a swimming pool and other leisure facilities.
British design firm Atkins aspired to push the limits with this hotel, similar to its project on Dubai’s grand Burj Al Arab hotel.
In a 2017 interview with China Daily, chief engineer Chen Xiaxiang explained that unlike conventional projects where materials are transported upwards through tried-and-tested methods, this endeavor required unique solutions to achieve the opposite.
He described the experience as “a fight against gravity” that eventually led the team to register 39 patents.
Find out more details about InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland here. Room rates have yet to be released.
[via Lonely Planet, images via InterContinental]
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