Architects are always finding new and innovative ways to make buildings stand out in a crowd. When it comes to hotels and resorts, the public has been given hundreds of designs over the years, from low rise to high rise, from beachfront villas to mountainside treehouses, and from oddly-shaped boutique or theme properties to underwater suites with views of coral reefs. Now comes the world’s first underground hotel, built into the side of the former Shenkeng Quarry, approximately 25 miles from Shanghai.
Due to open in December 2018, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a 61,000 square meter luxury resort containing 337 hotel rooms and suites. The hotel is a total of 18 floors, 16 of which are below ground level. Even more impressive is the lowest two levels are entirely submerged in water in an aquarium that is thirty-three feet deep.
For guests wishing to remain above the water line, they can view the quarry cliffside or admire a glass-enclosed waterfall that plunges the entire height of the hotel. Or, they can view it while bungee jumping from the top of the building. Ironically, the “rooftop garden” is actually ground level.
Inside, guests can expect a meeting and conference space as well as a grand ballroom for events and world-class cuisine.
Having taken ten years to build with thirty-nine patents filed with respect to architecture, the designers and chief engineer of this hotel claim the project was a ‘fight against gravity’.
The concept was to redefine the relationship between city and nature by restructuring the forsaken quarry in a way that would feature flora and fauna.
The property is approximately 28 kilometers from Hongqiao Airport with nearby attractions like Sheshan National Forest Park and Chenshan Botanic Gardens.