Home Energy Management InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, Built into Side of Quarry, to Generate Its Own...

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, Built into Side of Quarry, to Generate Its Own Power


SHANGHAI, CHINA—Architecturally, and from a sustainability standpoint, the 337-room InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, set to open this month, is one of the most unique hotels in the world.

Built into the side of the abandoned Shenkeng Quarry in Songjiang, about 22 miles outside of Shanghai, the hotel will create its own power—including heat and lighting—through geothermal and solar energy. The roof is covered with greenery.

Water runs throughout the structure. A waterfall, built into the center of the hotel, pours into the pool at the bottom of the quarry. The two bottommost floors are built completely underwater. Every room in the hotel—aside from those underwater—will feature a balcony with views of purpose-built waterfalls spilling down the quarry walls. Sixteen of the hotel’s 18 floors are technically underground. One floor will have guestrooms and a restaurant, both facing an underwater aquarium. At the bottom of the building, there’s a sports complex that includes a swimming pool.

It took a team of more than 5,000 architects, engineers, designers and workers more than 10 years to complete the hotel.

The quarry is located close to tourist attractions like the Chenshan Botanic Gardens and Sheshan National Park. The hotel makes use of its position inside a craggy pit to provide bungee jumping and rock-climbing opportunities.

The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland was built by Studio JADE+QA in association with British firm Atkins.


  1. I suspect any energy savings from geothermal and solar are vastly offset by the pumping requirement that keep the quarry from filling up with water…. still a neat use of a ‘brownfield property’, especially if there is a way to discharge the water by gravity from the site.

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