Work starts on ‘sunken' hotel

By Becca Wilkins25 September 2009

Work has begun on the Songjiang Hotel, a 'sunken hotel' in Songjiang near Shanghai, China.

Work has begun on the Songjiang Hotel, a 'sunken hotel' in Songjiang near Shanghai, China.

Construction work has begun on the Songjiang Hotel, a 'sunken hotel' being created in a 100m-deep water-filled quarry in Songjiang near Shanghai, China.

Situated inside the Shanghai Sheshan National Holiday Resort in the Sheshan Mountain area of Songjiang, the hotel features underwater public areas, 380 guest rooms and conference facilities for up to 1000 people.

It also includes sport and leisure centres and two underwater levels will house a restaurant and guestrooms facing a 10 m deep aquarium.

An extreme sports centre for activities such as rock climbing and bungee jumping will be cantilevered over the quarry and accessed by special lifts from the water level of the hotel.

Design and engineering consultancy Atkins won a competition in 2006 to design the hotel, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

According to lead architect Martin Jochman, Atkins has made sustainability key to the hotel's construction, including generating electricity and heating from the site's geothermal energy. A naturally-lit internal atrium will incorporate the existing rock face of the quarry.

Mr Jochman said, "We architects consider sustainability the most important part of our work. In all our projects in China we prioritise inclusion of as many sustainable features as possible.

"We are aware of the world's environmental concerns, and feel we can actively contribute to both the reduction in energy input into buildings, and the education of clients and the public on the importance of this issue for future generations."

Mr Jochman added the biggest challenge was to design a building which fitted seamlessly into the unique environment thus enhancing it without damaging it.

"Also the structure for the unique shape of the guest wings was challenging, especially in view of the strict seismic codes," he said.

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