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The Most Amazing Hotel Ever


By Mark S. Kuhar

A quarry is a rather unusual destination for a five-star hotel. Perhaps that’s what makes the concept of the Songjiang Quarry Hotel in Tianmashan, Songjiang, Shanghai, China, so awe-inspiring.56 LASTWORD 400

Atkins, one of the world’s most innovative design, engineering and project-management consultancies in the world, won an international design competition for this hotel and resort in August 2006 and the vision is now in the process of being transformed into reality by Chinese developer Shimao.

The satellite town of Songjiang is approximately 35 km from Shanghai city center and sprawling landscapes and natural beauty have made it a popular tourist destination. The design of the Songjiang Quarry Hotel reflects the natural landscape of the quarry and was inspired by the stunning location and natural environment of the rocky cliffs, waterfalls and surrounding hills.

The project will feature the construction of a five-star, 380-room hotel built into the side of an abandoned, 90-meter-deep, water-filled quarry. Some of the rooms will actually be under water! A vertical atrium made of glass will run from the top to the bottom of the hotel, disguised as a waterfall.

The hotel will be operated by Intercontinental Hotels Group as a sport and leisure-oriented resort. Extreme sports such as rock climbing and bungee jumping will be offered from a structure that is cantilevered from the rock face.

Many sustainability features, ranging from geothermal energy to solar energy utilization, are included in this project. The building will also have a green roof to fit seamlessly into the surrounding environment and become a “natural” part of the local topography, but also for its eco-friendly and energy-saving qualities.

Rooms will be priced at around $320 per night. The project is expected to be completed this year.