shimao wonderland intercontinental

project info

name: shimao wonderland intercontinental
location: songjiang , shanghai, china
developer: shimao group
operator: IHG – (intercontinental hotels group)
architect: martin jochman dip arch RIBA – studio JADE+QA (concept with atkins)
time scale: 2006 -2018
opened: november 15, 2018
building area: 62,171.9 sqm / 669,213 sqf
number of guestrooms: 337
number of floors: 2 above ground level, 16 below ground level, 2 under water

The Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental hotel has opened within a 88-metre-deep abandoned quarry near Shanghai

Designed by London- and Shanghai based Jade + QA, the 337-room hotel descends 16 storeys below ground level within the former quarry and is described by the studio as a groundscraper

Architect Martin Jochman created the concept for the quarry hotel while working for Atkins and it won a competition in 2006. He later established his own studio Jade + QA, where he carried on the design

The steel-framed building is attached to a cliff face on one side of the excavated water-filled quarry, with only two storeys rising above ground level and the lowest two floors descending below the water level

Rooms are wrapped around the walls of the quarry, with a “glass waterfall” structure containing the building’s observation lifts and giving access to all the floors

There are three principal elements of the building massing derived from the character of the site and its location, said Jochman

The ‘green hill’; the two storey green roof covered part of the building above ground level, the ‘hanging gardens’; convex and concave S-shaped guest room wings; and the central glass ‘waterfall

The hotel’s public areas are located above and below the main rooms levels. The two storeys above ground contain the quarry hotel’s reception, a restaurant and conference facilities

The unique location of the project, combined with the structural challenge of creating a tall building that is attached to the ground at both ends, meant that the hotel has taken 12 years to design and build

“The biggest challenge in my opinion was to satisfy the seismic and structural codes with an unprecedented building type – a tall building fixed at both ends – an inverted ‘groundscraper’,” said Jochman

There were many other technical and operational issues associated with building in such unique and difficult location, including fire escape, safety from flooding and safety from rock fall


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