Bringing a Vision to Reality: InterContinental’s Shanghai Wonderland

The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel is located 35 kilometres from Shanghai city centre in an unusual spot for a 5-star hotel – an abandoned quarry.

Onwards and upwards? Not necessarily. In this project we headed below ground level with the project team to work on this 18-storey hotel, with two floors above ground and sixteen floors below ground – two of which are situated below the water level of the lake in this former quarry.

By building the hotel where it is, the developer intends to impact the surrounding environment positively. The design of the hotel reflects the natural landscape of the quarry and the rocky cliff faces, waterfalls and nearby hills. All rooms have a balcony with view of the lake, and the two underwater levels are home to a restaurant, guest rooms, and an aquarium where guests can watch schools of fish swim by.

1,000 1,000
floors situated below ground in the cliff face
16 16
Floors under water level
2 2
Gross floor area in Square Metres
61,087 61,087
336 336
Underground reach, in metres
88 88

We resolved some captivating technical challenges during the design development stage. Mitigation of flood risk was clearly of the utmost importance; in the event of exceptionally heavy rainfall for example, emergency pumps are activated to reduce the level of the lake under a controlled environment to prevent flooding. We performed extensive computational fluid dynamics analyses to model the microclimate of the quarry under different scenarios.

The WSP team shared a proud moment with its client and partners at the grand opening of the hotel on November 15th, 2018.

Sustainable Features

A green roof has been created on the hotel, and many other interesting features have been included, ranging from geothermal to solar energy. The green roof allows the hotel to blend into the surrounding environment as a natural element, and there are considerable benefits from the related energy savings.

Future Proofing

As part of the flood risk control design, extensive analysis of historical and projected rainfall data for the Shanghai and Songjiang districts was carried out alongside a study of water run-off and seepage from the quarry cliff face.

Project honours include Winner of “Asia's Leading Hotel Development Project” at the 2018 World Travel Awards.