The concept of a groundscraper or an earthscraper has been around for some time now. For the last five years the Shanghai Shimao Property Group has been working on the concept to turn it into reality as the Intercontinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland. All the planning and designing for the ambitious project has been completed and the actual construction work on the unique structure has started. The structure is coming up in an abandoned quarry at the foot of Tianmashan Mountain, some 45 kilometres southwest of the city center. It is a 100 meter deep pit in which the structure will rise to create a 19 storied hotel.
The hotel will be a part of a 428.000 square meter theme park. The 19 storied structure will have only three floors rising above the ground where as the rest of the structure will be below ground level in the pit. The last two levels at the bottom will feature an underwater restaurant and an aquatic complex offering facilities for various water based sports. Another highlight at the bottom of the pit will be a ten meter deep aquarium showcasing unique and rare marine life.
Another unique feature of the complex is a 60 meter glass curtain wall running next to the main structure. It will be set up in such a way that it will resemble a running waterfall. The natural cliffs next to the main structure will also be developed for outdoor activities like bungee jumping and rock-climbing. The resort complex is expected to become operational in the 2014-15 holiday season. The project cost has been estimated to be in the region of $555 million but the final cost is likely to rise further. And because of such large investment in the 380 room luxury hotel the room rates will have to be kept high. The rates are expected to start from $320 a night.