In the midst of industrial revolutions, environmental matters are treated as the secondary factors.
Construction developments are key to the China’s economic success, with the country boasting a GDP that has exploded as the country develops at lightning speed. Throughout the success China has created, however, environmental matters have been allowed to slip off the radar for some time.
Without the luxury of being able to start their industry foundation from scratch with an environmentally sound core, the country is now making efforts to go back and reclaim and rehabilitate damaged environmental areas through environmental architectural intervention. Areas around the world are rehabilitating environments that were damaged by industry developments, and now China, with a target of 30 per cent new green construction by 2020, is following suit.
The ‘Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental’ is an architectural development with the green roots and vision to rejuvenate the ‘man-made landscape’ of the Songjiang area. Currently under construction, the development is the brainchild of multidisciplinary practice Atkins and includes a 17-storey structure located over a water-filled quarry that promises to be visually breathtaking once completed.
Set into an 80-metre void in the backing rock face, the development will function as a resort and business hotel. The overall thermal mass of the stone offers to naturally control the interior temperature of the building due to its high insulating properties, drastically reducing energy requirements and cutting carbon emissions and pollutants entering into the surrounding environment. This will be aided further by the implementation of a green roof.
The curving façade of the building will offer a panoramic view of the lake below, with terrace gardens running the length of each level aiding in the environmental rehabilitation in addition to offering a strikingly fresh façade aesthetic.
As an added feature, two levels of sleeping quarters will be completely submerged, offering a ‘submarine’ experience in which guests can slumber underwater.
Once the building is complete, it will offer rock climbing, bungee jumping and number of other experiences that get patrons out of their rooms and reconnecting with the outdoors.
While reclamation and rehabilitation wouldn’t be necessary in a modern sustainable utopia, that utopia is simply not the reality. While it is an incredibly positive and environmentally honourable notion that all buildings should be constructed with environmental responsibility at their core, it is simply not realistic that some industries would work in that manner 100 per cent of the time. While the ideal is worth striving for, in the meantime it is incredibly positive to see industry developments that go back and rehabilitate damaged environmental areas in a way that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide.