CCD / Cheng Chung Design designed the mesmerizing interiors of the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel that sits inside an abandoned quarry in Sheshan Town, Songjiang District, Shanghai, China, in 2018. The changing relationship between human and nature was the initial inspiration of the interior design. Take a look at the complete story after the jump.
Overall Style: Sheng Keng • Aesthetics of Mining Concept
InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel has been constructed inside an abandoned quarry. As to better fit into the surrounding environment, the interior design of the hotel has applied ‘Aesthetics of Mining’ concept as reference, combining the wild rocks and vertical cliffs with the natural environment, creating a new conceptualized hospitality culture that only belongs to the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel.
The quarry is located at the Sheshan Mountain Range; there are plenty of greeneries inside the quarry, and waterfalls falling from the surrounding cliffs. After a few site visits, CCD design team felt that human has changed the natural environment attributing to fast social and economic development in the past decades; however, the power of nature is surreptitiously penetrating the development of human civilization as well, therefore, the changing relationship between human and nature is the initial inspiration of the interior design. CCD is dedicated in reshaping the relationship between the architecture and natural environment through hospitality design.
As to incorporate the inspiration into the design, and to find a balance between the natural landscape and human beings, CCD tries to create the consonance between natural environment and artificial designs. The interior design of the hotel is closely attached to the natural landscape, and perfectly blended with the surrounding environment. People would be confused when they are inside the hotel, whether they are having a cave adventure tour or staying at a luxury hotel.
Design Story: Adventure to the Center of the Earth
Initially, in consideration of the geographic location, topography and uniqueness of the project, CCD has come up with the theme of ‘Adventure to the Center of the Earth’ as the design concept. Starting from entering the lobby to the underground floors, including guestrooms, theme restaurants and bar, all interior designs are conceptualized by an adventurous story. The entire staying experience would be portrayed as following an ancient British explorer to a mining site from the outer layer of the rock to the inner core of the Earth, and ultimately entering the underwater sea world. CCD has established a hospitality space that is full of adventurous stories, giving an exotic brand positioning to the hotel.
The hotel lobby is the highlight of the whole story, and also depicted as the core of the Earth. The Interior design of the lobby is based on the main theme of ‘Adventure to the Center of the Earth’; therefore the lobby of the hotel is basically displaying the natural appearance of bedrocks with different heights. The design inspiration is from the horizontal and vertical textures formed by the flooding of magma due to crustal movement. The twisted grains and the overlapping peaks are trying to reproduce the natural texture of cliff walls, as to make the overall interior design color closer to its natural appearance of a quarry. There is also a 3D water curtain designed in the center of the lobby projecting various images at different times that matches the cliffs and waterfalls outside the hotel, which creates an artistic sense of natural landscape, bringing surprises and new staying expectations to guests staying experience.
As to match the color of the mining site, a bronze wall has been designed in the lobby, inspired by the color of tools used by miners, emphasizing the concept of balancing humanity and nature.
Indeed, this hotel of wonder has a lot of innovations, as there is no other hotel as reference, and therefore, this project has confronted with numerous challenges and difficulties in landscape planning, material usage, and mechanical engineering and in many other stages. Besides, the hotel is built beneath the ground level, and part of it is underwater, therefore, there are challenges such as lighting design, temperature and moisture control system as well, as to get along with the unique underground environment.
1. Ballroom: The another Scene
Go through the aisle from the lobby and continue to explore. You will see a glimmer of light penetrates into the dark cave hole. Looking up, guests would find that there is another scene in the banquet hall, where different shapes of light and shadows are projected through the opening glasses. The veranda and the front hall has been designed like the courtyard deep in the cave, combining with the LED light shining from the ceiling through the glasses to create a dreamlike star effect.
2. Chinese Restaurant: Phoenix only rests on Chinese Parasol
At the entrance of the restaurant, there is a light court, and a pine tree has been planted in the center of the court. As Zhuang Zi made a high statement about pine tree that ‘Pine and Cedar trees are accredited by the land, as they are evergreen; Yao and Shun are accredited by the sky, as they are leaders of the world’. This pine tree and the scenic roll inside the restaurant create an artistic sense of tranquility.
3. All-Day-Dining Restaurant: Power Station
The all-day-dining restaurant is set to be the power station for the explorers and guests. There is a food island bar full of various cuisines. There is a ‘Charging’ sign on the bar table, the checked pattern on the vertical façade of the island bar that symbolizes the battery, and keeps charging to its full capacity.
4. Executive Lounge: Fantasy Greenland on Valley Floor
From the top of the cave and travelling all along the valley, there is a Greenland at the bottom of the valley. The executive lounge is located on the B13 floor. It is like the little warm cabin in the forest, providing a cozy place for travelers and explorers to rest on, and get ready for the next part of the journey.
5. Bar: Quenching Fire Brilliant Obsidian
The bar is located on B14 floor, between the basement and the water surface. Before stepping into the bar, guests can see the artwork that symbolizes the submarine that has docked at the quarry and produced sparks from the fiction with the rocks. The combination of light and shadow in the interior space contrasts with the color of the rocks in the quarry, and produces a beauty of burning flames. The design of the booth and the bar stool is largely influenced by the age of steam industry; the torpedo-shaped lampshade on the ceiling makes it the special embellishment in the space.
6. Pools: Biquan Cave
At the base of the quarry, the indoor pool space is built behind a glass wall. Stalactite-shaped feature ceilings and pillars have been designed in the pool space as to reproduce the environment of a Biquan cave. Under the natural light, the explorers playing in the pool space would still feel the cliff environment through the reflection of the glass wall. Meanwhile, artificial rocks and fun decorative features such as mushroom bubbles are used as to make the pool fancier.
7. Undersea Restaurant: Uncharted Water
Explorers have found treasure – water curtain holes formed by the erosion of flowing water along cracks in the limestone surface. The ceiling of the underwater restaurant is designed as the hidden crystal that adds more colors to the rocks and reflects the beauty of the space and the surrounding environment. Seeing the fish swimming in surrounding water, guests can enjoy the most unique dining experience in the underwater world.
Besides, the hotel is built along the shape of the cliffs, so the topography and conditions at each floor are different; this has brought a big challenge to the guest room design. After categorizing the characteristics of each room type on each floor, there are total of three main floor plans that are designed, and each has a specific theme related to the geology of the quarry and to offer different staying experiences to the guests. Within the original quarry, there are different rock layers and colors, some of them are reddish and some are bluish grey. Based on the rock color containing different chemicals such as Iron, Hematite and Calcium Carbonate, CCD has designed three different types of rooms, employing a palette of red and blue as the interior decoration tones. The overall design of the guest rooms features elements of industrial style. As said before, story of mining is the inspiration of the soft decoration in guest rooms, therefore, emphasizing on the style of ‘wild luxury’, which you can see form the vintage lamp, leather products, vintage luggage suitcases, and so on. What worth mention is the usage of ergonomic, the height and size of furniture are all designed to make the explorers’ journey more convenient, depicting the delicacy of industrial style without compromising on the degree of comfort.
On the design side, CCD optimizes industrial style by applying delicate and detailed materials, such as the usage of tactile wall finishing, as to reproduce the original landscape scene of underground tunnel in which the guests would feel like walking and having an adventure in a quarry.
9. Family Suite: Suspended Sent Boat
Sitting in a flat boat and visiting deep down of the lava cave. The family suite is a duplex type guestroom; the entrance of the room and the living room is located on B15 floor, surrounded by the sea world, and there is a staircase going up to the water surface on B14 floor, where the bedroom located, which is also equipped with kids-friendly space. The interior design of the suite is based on the luxury yacht, all the furniture is made with yacht details and, featured wooden facades ceiling that provides a voyaging experience for the guests.
10. Honeymoon Suite: Dreamy Wander in Wonderland
Honeymoon suites are located on the bottom floor. The balcony scenery is the aquarium. The interior design has applied glasses, together with the lighting effect to reflect the water waves through the entire suite. The guests can have the lovers’ world under the water, and enjoy the romantic and unforgettable moment.
11. Presidential Suite: Royal Espionage Hot Pursuit
The design of the presidential suite is based on the theme of James Bond 007. The suite has been imagined as the secret base for the agent inside the quarry. After opening the ancient heavy steel gate, it would be a modern luxurious living room full of gold coins and weapons. The presidential suite is located at the edge of the architecture, which is also close to the edge of the cliffs. With regards to the topography and the special location, the interior of the suite features a large glass curtain wall that can see through from the suite with 270 degree of sight view as to make a dramatic comparison between the wild natural landscape and the luxury living space.
The presidential suite also incorporates shades of black and gold, the design of wall finishing utilizes glass paneling with small textures, and flooring has used black marble; with the soft decoration of perfect texture, the suite looks low-key and perfectly streamlined.
Project Name: InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel
Interior Design: CCD / Cheng Chung Design (HK) – www.ccd.com.hk
Construction Firm: Shenzhen Asiantime International Construction Co., Ltd.
Project Location: Sheshan Town, Songjiang District, Shanghai, China
Site Area: 105350 m2
Building Area: 60072.1 m2
Above Ground Building Area: 13520.6 m2
Underground Building Area: 46551.5 m2
Completion Time: Nov. 2018
Interior photos credit: CCD / Cheng Chung Design (HK)
Architecture photo credit: InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel