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Atkins To Turn Abandoned Quarry Into Hotel

Imagine a flooded opencast quarry near a bustling city. It's not normally the sort of place you'd expect for a luxury hotel but British design firm Atkins have come up with a solution for what is one of the largest holes in the ground in China reaching almost 100 metres deep.

Called the Hanging Gardens Hotel, the project is designed around the concept of water, both real and imagined which takes an existing water feature and adds the sculptural representation of a moving one to it enlivening what was previously dead.

Occupying a sheer cliff side in the Songjiang quarry close to Shanghai, the hotel resort curves concavely around the rock-faces rising to 19 floors of luxury accommodation above the water-line.

There is also set to be two levels of accommodation below the waterline with rooms having Perspex glass that will give them clear views underwater, something more befitting the lair of a James Bond baddie.

The two main hotel blocks are separated by a glass atrium that cuts through them as if it is a flowing waterfall whilst the top level is linked to a pod more like an Ewok's hut that is cantilevered right out over the cliff and above the water and will offer pursuits such as bungee jumping for those who don't mind getting the tip of their nose wet.

Other leisure options on offer will include the obvious rock climbing opportunity, boating, a covered swimming pool with the cliff-side still included and walkways suspended above the water for a nice moon-lit stroll.

Guests will be accommodated in the 400 hotel rooms and there will be the usual corporate hospitality of conference areas for up to a thousand people, a banqueting centre and numerous restaurants for diners who like a view with a difference.

The entire scheme is aimed at being environmentally friendly with photovoltaic panels on the roof and a heat pump with energy extractor in the water. Even the atrium has been planned to help energy efficiency by not only being a conservatory with large amounts of vegetation but also working as circulation passage for air heated by the sun.

What the Hanging Gardens Hotel offers more than anything isn't luxury accommodation for guests with massive bank accounts but the hope that these industrial scars we have cut deep in the earth into can be transformed into something a bit more worthwhile than watery holes polluted with heavy metals.
Hanging Gardens Hotel Shanghai
Hanging Gardens Hotel Shanghai
Hanging Gardens Hotel Shanghai
Hanging Gardens Hotel Shanghai
Sketch of the aquarium rooms
Sketch of the aquarium rooms
Image of the lobby
Image of the lobby
Architects sketch of the atrium
Architects sketch of the atrium