What can you do with an old quarry when it stops being productive, apart from being left with a huge hole in the earth that can’t be used for anything?.
That was actually the dilemma for the owners of that wasted real estate in Sonjiang, China, near Shanghai, who decided to set up a contest for ideas to develop some useful compound inside the abandoned quarry. The Songjiang district is a natural beauty spot close to Shanghai and an increasingly popular weekend and holiday destination for Shanghai residents and other visitors.
Atkins Architects came up with a brilliant idea complemented with a wonderful visual presentation shown here and won the contest to design a 5-star, 400-bed luxury resort hotel on those premises. Bristol-based Martin Jochman, who led the design team, said,
“We drew our inspiration from the quarry setting itself, adopting the image of a green hill cascading down the natural rock face as a series of terraced landscaped hanging gardens. In the center, we have created a transparent glass ‘waterfall’ from a central vertical circulation atrium connecting the quarry base with the ground level. This replicates the natural waterfalls on the existing quarry face.”
By having the quarry partially filled with water, the lower part of the hotel will be underwater, offering spectacular aquarium views to guests in the restaurants, fitness areas, and lower story guestrooms. The hill will be transformed in roof-gardens with terraces with a waterfall at the center and at the top of the hotel, rising above the quarry, guests can enjoy an extreme sports center with activities like rock climbing and bungee jumping.
And to top it off, the hotel will be totally eco-friendly. Not only by the fact that is being built in an abandoned quarry, but the Songjiang Hotel will feature green roofing, natural lighting, and geothermal energy, making sustainability an important feature in the design of the Hotel.