• Man and the environment find Harmony in Songjiang

    22 October 2011

    The unique Atkins designed Intercontinental Hotel for Shanghai Shimao New Experience Development has just started construction with completion targeted for next year.

    This competition winning design for a 372-key five-star resort and business hotel is set within a water filled quarry in Songjiang district close to Shanghai. The quarry and hotel combine to form an integrated whole. Governed by statutory restrictions on building height, the hotel’s 17 storeys only occupy two levels above ground and barely intrude upon the natural beauty for which the area is famous. At ground level, the grassed roofed podium houses hotel and conference centre entrances lead to a river of glass that turns into a vertical circulation ‘waterfall’ that cascades down the 80- metre deep quarry giving access to the panoramic guest rooms and naturally-lit internal atria contained in adjacent curved wings. At water level are a gym centre, swimming pool and spa, as well as restaurants and cafés, banqueting centre and conference facilities for up to 1,000 people. At the lowest point, two levels of rooms are ‘submerged’ offering guests an intimate freshwater aquaria experience.

    An extreme sports centre will be cantilevered over the quarry and accessed by special lifts from lake level.

    The quarry provides guests and visitors with views, activities and experiences. It also protects the hotel from weather extremes. The thermal mass of the rock stabilizes the hotel environment and reduces energy input into the building. In return, the hotel rejuvenates the quarry and brings man and environment together in a highly sustainable relationship.

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