The hidden depths of the Earth have long enthralled the scientific community and teased popular imagination. What lies beneath the Earth’s crust was the subject of Jules Verne’s iconic novel, A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and for one particular hotel in China, this subterranean adventure serves as one of many richly evocative sources of inspiration.
The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, a former quarry, is an engineering feat and a project that’s over a decade in the making. Designed by the London and Shanghai-based practice Jade + QA, the project was led by architect and founder Martin Jochman, who is proud that the final outcome is “virtually identical” to the initial sketch he had done in 2006. The firm worked closely with Chinese developer Shimao and local firm ECADI (East China Architectural Design & Research Institute) to realise the project.
We visited the property to celebrate the 200th hotel launched by the InterContinental group; a milestone made more remarkable by the unusual setting of this property in Songjiang, a suburban district southwest of Shanghai.
Here, we unpack the spectacular details that make this property so unique: