Of all the uses for a disused quarry, this has to be one of the most ambitious. The Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland features underwater rooms, a large waterfall, in-room aquariums with only two floors of the hotel actually situated above real ground level. Construction faced challenges of building into a rock space and accounting for safety concerns...

ArchitectMartin Jochman Dip Arch RIBA - STUDIO JADE+QA
DeveloperShimao Group Operator - IHG 
Construction 2006 - 2018
      The Quarry Hotel - All rooms have a stunning view
      All rooms feature a view of the quarry, the cliff or the waterfall, image courtesy of IHG

      what's on the outside


      Stretching more than 88 meters underground and named as one of the architectural wonders of the world by National Geographic Channel's MegaStructures because of its design. Two floors are above ground while 16 (including two under water) are below ground. All rooms of this 336-room hotel have views of the cliffs, quarry or waterfall. Construction of the former quarry, which was abandoned in the 1950s, ended in 2018 and has sustainability qualities at its heart. The location of the hotel provides maximum sunlight for the solar panels while the air shaft between the hotel and the cliff face provides easy cooling in the summer and adequate insulation throughout the winter. Studio Jade + QA, which designed the hotel, famously describe the creation as a 'groundscaper'.

      The groundscaper's design won numerous prestigious awards including 'Best Hotel Architecture China' by MIPIM Asia and 'Best International Hotel Architecture' by International Hotel Awards.

      The Quarry Hotel - Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland
      The Quarry Hotel - Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, underwater dining
      One of the restaurants is underwater with an aquarium, image courtesy of IHG
      The Quarry Hotel - Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, luxury rooms

      what's on the inside


      The blue 'glass waterfall' structure on the face of the hotel contains the hotel's observation elevators with the reception, meeting and conference facilities and a restaurant located above ground. Meanwhile, on the lakeside level, 14 storeys below, you can find swimming pools and more conference facilities and on the two below-water floors there is a restaurant and guest rooms which face an underwater aquarium.

      Challenges for the designers included making sure the quarry structure remained safe and considering the safety of the guests - fire escapes in such an unusual building and protecting people from potential flooding or rock falls.

      The Quarry Hotel - Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland
      Lake-level rooms, image courtesy of IHG
      The Quarry Hotel - Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland
      Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, image courtesy of IHG
      Odoo • A picture with a caption
      "Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental - rendering 01" by Forgemind ArchiMedia is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
      Odoo • A picture with a caption
       "Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental - rendering 16" by Forgemind ArchiMedia is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
      Odoo • A picture with a caption
      "Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental - rendering 12" by Forgemind ArchiMedia is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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