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A hotel development sunk into a disused quarry in China opened its doors Thursday to deep-pocketed clientele.
Preventing the 88-metre-deep (290 feet) pit from flooding was among the chief challenges for engineers working on the swanky 336-room InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland—part of a $288 million development that also includes a theme park.
Hotel - Number - Designs - China - Side
The hotel, which is one of a growing number of bold architectural designs springing up in China, hugs one side of the pit wall, with a waterfall cascading down the opposite face.
The subterranean 17-floor hotel is about an hour's drive from the centre of Shanghai, with room charges starting at 3,394 yuan ($490) a night.
Floor - Suites - Water - Level - Depths
There is a floor of suites below the water level, but don't expect to gaze directly into the depths of Shenkeng Quarry—the windows are instead buffered by large fish tanks.
"Why do we say there is nothing in the world that compares to the quarry hotel project?" Chen Xiaoxiang, chief engineer with the real estate giant, Shimao Property, said to AFP.
Project - Project
"It's a project that's completely new, a project we have never encountered before.
"There were no references, cases or experience we could learn from to solve all the difficulties," he said.
Engineers - Problems
That meant engineers were met with unexpected problems.
Before construction started in 2013, for example, heavy rainfall caused a nearby river to overflow into the quarry,...
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