Construction has begun on an incredible 19-story, 5-star hotel that will be located deep within a 100-meter (328-foot) abandoned quarry near the base of Tianmashan Mountain in the Songjiang District of Shanghai. The 380-room Shimao Intercontinental Hotel seemed almost too wild to be true, and though its initial estimated opening date of May 2009 has long past, photos show progress at the quarry.
Designed by British engineering firm Atkins Global, the Shimao Hotel mimics a waterfall with a glass atrium that extends from the ground-level roof all the way down into the quarry. Three of the floors will be above-ground, with the rest extending into the pit. Instead of pumping the water out of the flooded quarry, the designers aim to turn it into a man-made lake.
Activities will take advantage of the unique landscape, including rock climbing, bungee jumping and water-based sports, and the hotel will also have its own cafes, restaurants, swimming pools, shopping and sporting facilities. Several of the public areas will be underwater, with others facing a 10-meter-deep aquarium.
Songjiang Intercontinental Hotel will be powered with geothermal energy, and above-ground structures will have green roofs for insulation and to help them blend in with the surrounding scenery. Rooms are expected to start at $320 per night, and the hotel is scheduled to open in late 2014 to early 2015.