Designed by London and Shanghai-based Jade + QA, the Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental hotel has opened within an 88-meter-deep abandoned quarry near Shanghai. The 337-room hotel is described by the studio as a groundscraper with only two of the building’s levels above ground. Further 16 storeys cascade down the rugged quarry cliff face, while two additional levels are located beneath the water that sits at the bottom of the quarry. These ‘underwater’ spaces contain guest rooms and public areas such as restaurants and an underwater aquarium.
The hotel also features a large conference/ballroom center together with water-based leisure facilities and swimming pools on the quarry bottom water level. Externally, there are extensively landscaped visitor facilities, such as an outdoor-themed entertainment park and cantilevered glass floor overlook walkway.
In March 2013, Quarry Associates(HK) Ltd and its Chinese registered , Shanghai-based Architectural, Interior design and Planning studio JADE Ltd (Jochman Architecture Design Environment Ltd set up by the original concept designer and project director of the Quarry hotel Martin Jochman) signed contract in Shanghai with the developer Shimao, for the remaining design stages and coordination/overview of the construction of this unique project. Whilst Martin Jochman was the original designer of the winning concept of the International competition held in 2006 and oversaw the scheme design development with Atkins in UK and in Shanghai, his design studio JADE + QA, has for past 6 years been progressing and completing this work for Shimao, finalising the design, producing construction information and coordinating the Landscape, Interior and Structural/Civil engineering design. Martin has therefore been the Architect for the project from the commencement in July 2006 until the completion of the project in November 2018.
Having completed a difficult task of stabilizing the cliff faces adjacent to the hotel wings in late 2015, the foundations and substructure on the quarry floor level were completed in 2016. The spectacular steel structure of the quest wings within the quarry has been commenced in February 2016. The internal fit out and the extensive landscape have been completed in October 2018.
Apart from minimizing the impact of this building on the local environment by adopting low profile covered with a grass roof, the hotel features a spectacular ‘glass waterfall’ structure to house the vertical circulation core with observation lifts. The mainly passive sustainable features will take advantage of the orientation, low profile, grass roof and the unique microclimate caused by the thermal properties of the quarry rock mass and the quarry lake, cooling the structure in the summer and heating in the winter. In fact, this successful ‘Brownfield’ site utilization of a disused industrial quarry site will make this project important contribution to the principles of sustainability in China.