Mountain Resort design perches over a disused quarry
Suspended over an old quarry, Coop Himmelb(l)au's winning design for the Dawang Mountain Resort Changsha, China design competition rolls an indoor ski slope, water park and entertainment "ice world" into one sleek structure. The secluded mountain resort will grip the edges of the cliff sides when finished, spanning 170 m (558 ft) from one cliff edge to the other.
The Coop Himmelb(l)au architectural firm has been responsible for some innovative projects, such as Shenzhen's solar and wind powered skyscraper. The Austrian company's latest design will include a cantilevered outdoor swimming pool from which a 60 m (197 ft) high waterfall will cascade into the quarry, similar to the Shimao Intercontinental Hotel. The glass cone running through the center of the entire structure is designed to allow natural daylight to illuminate the quarry and lake below. The complex will cover an area of 120,000 sq m (1,300,000 sq ft).
Ramps and pathways along the cliff side will let visitors walk from the resort to the quarry below, that will be transformed into a sunken garden peppered with pools of water and islands. The design allows guests on the cliff side pathways to see into the building through its transparent facade.
Standing apart from the main structure, a 5-star hotel will be housed in a 100 m (330 ft) high tower at the south end of the site. It will connect to the ice world through a Grand Garden Plaza and will offer 270 high-class suites, 60 executive suites and a presidential suite with 6 rooms overlooking the lake. Coop Himmelb(l)au expects to begin construction in 2014, and estimates that it will complete the resort by 2016.