A quarry abandoned since 2000 will be transformed into a stunning "groundscraper" - a massive integrated hotel that will extend 19 storeys underground.
The foot of Tianmashan, in Shanghai, will see the development of a new 19-storey hotel that, instead of extending skywards, will reach into the ground.
The new development, developed by Shanghai Shimao Property Group and to be managed by InterContinental Hotels Group, will be a new "groundscraper" hotel, a massive construction built mostly underground.
The hotel, named InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland, will reach 19 floors deep into the bottom of a 100-metre pit. It is scheduled to be completed in late 2014 or early 2015, and will have a deepest floor that is 700 meters lower than the top floor of the Shanghai Tower J Hotel in Shanghai Tower. Shanghai Tower J Hotel is slated to be the world's highest hotel-to-be, and will be completed around the same time as InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland.
The quarry hotel was designed by UK engineering firm, Atkins, which was also responsible for Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel. Atkins was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2011 MIPIM Asia Awards for the eye-catching design of InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland.
The luxury hotel is being developed as part of the Shimao Shanghai Wonderland, a large-scale theme park by Shanghai Shimao Property Group which incorporates hospitality, leisure and entertainment facilities.
The entire theme park will be built on the site of an abandoned quarry at the foot of Tianmashan, about 45 km southwest of Shanghai's city centre. The pit is 100 meters deep, 240 metres long and 160 meters wide, with the lowest 20 meters filled with stagnant rainwater, which the hotel will retain.
"The pit has served as a quarry since the 1950s," said Yao Qi, senior branding manager of Shanghai Shimao Property Group. "It has been abandoned since the year 2000."
The 380-room InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland commenced construction in March 2012. The 19-storey hotel will have three levels above ground, and 16 underground, including an underwater restaurant. The estimated development value of the luxury resort is RMB 600 million.
"A 60-meter glass curtain will be built to mimic a waterfall next to the resort's main structure," added Yao.
In total, Shanghai Shimao Property Group is expected to invest RMB 3.5 billion for the development of the entire resort, which spans almost 430,000 sqm. Industry experts estimate that the nightly room rates for the luxury quarry hotel will be around RMB 2,000 - more than twice the rates charged by nearby five-star hotels.
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