Coop Himmelb(l)au plans sports resort
for abandoned Chinese quarry


News: Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au has landed a commission to design a winter sports resort and water park across an abandoned cement-mining quarry and lake near Changsha, China (+ slideshow).

Located at the Dawang Mountain Resort outside the city, the Deep Pit Ice and Snow World will be constructed from cliff to cliff across the old quarry, which itself will be transformed into an artificial landscape of islands, pools and pathways.

Dawang Mountain Resort Changsha by Coop Himmelb(l)au

Coop Himmelb(l)au's competition-winning proposals combine an ice world and indoor skiing centre with a large water park. Highlights will include a cantilevered outdoor swimming pool, set to form a 60-metre waterfall into the pit of the quarry, while an upside-down glass cone will bring light through the centre of the structure.

A 100-metre-high hotel will accompany the resort, on the opposite side of a large public plaza. It will offer over 300 rooms, boasting views towards Tongxi Lake and Dawang Mountain.

Dawang Mountain Resort Changsha by Coop Himmelb(l)au

Coop Himmelb(l)au is led by architect Wolf D. Prix. Past projects include a church with steel whirlpools on the roof in Austria and a contorted steel conference centre in China. See more Coop Himmelb(l)au projects »

We also recently revealed designs for a cave hotel underway in a water-filled quarry elsewhere in China. See more architecture in China »

Dawang Mountain Resort Changsha by Coop Himmelb(l)au

Here's a project description from Coop Himmelb(l)au:

Ice World and Five Star Hotel, Dawang Mountain Resort
Changsha, China, 2013

The Deep Pit Ice and Snow World is located in the Dawang Mountain Resort Area near the city of Changsha. The project combines an Entertainment Ice World with an Indoor Ski Slope, a Water Park and supporting restaurant and shopping facilities with a total gross floor area of 120,000m².

The building volume is integrated into a beautiful landscape scenery and positioned directly on top of a historical cement mining quarry pit and lake. In the design solution towards the South and East, the existing quarry pit is revealed and the sculpted shell of the Snow and Ice World spans 170 meters from cliff to cliff over a sunken and hanging garden creating a new functional leisure space of islands, water, cliffside pathways and ramps connecting the building to this natural heritage. This unique framed open space in between architecture and landscape is also characterised through an impressive central glass cone providing controlled natural daylight down through the Ice World structure and on to the islands and water surfaces.

A cantilevered outdoor swimming pool is part of the Water Park attractions and creates a 60m high waterfall into the quarry pit. From the inside the leisure functions of the Snow and Ice World engage the space of the quarry pit with views through large glass façades to the natural cliff faces and hanging gardens, also with overviews to the water pools and islands below. At the same time visitors walking or standing on the Cliffside Pathways can also look into the building through the transparent façade; hence an interactive visual contact with the interior of the Snow and Ice World is created establishing more excitement and maximising the existing value of the industrial heritage.

A separate sculptural 100m high tower on the South end of the site hosts a 5 Star-Hotel and is connected to the Ice World via a Grand Garden Plaza. Arriving from the city of Changsha over Pingtang Avenue, the Hotel tower will be the most significant iconic landmark for the entire Dawang Mountain Tourism Resort Centre. It offers 270 high-class single and double bed suites, 60 Executive Suites with an Executive Club Lounge and a 6-room Presidential Suite, all with impressive views to Tongxi Lake, Dawang Mountain and into the Ice & Snow World. A spacious central Lobby around the tower core opens up into the service plinth containing a bar and restaurant on level one, flexible and multifunctional conference areas on level two and the fitness and spa and beauty facilities on level three. The façade of the Fashion Hotel Tower is a specially designed, highly economical system providing state-of-the-art sun shading, natural ventilation and a unitised, quick construction. The element façade system offers a maximum of flexibility to the inside room layout and allows a homogeneous appearance over the exterior facade.

  • Randy Spiwak

    I’ve come across Wolf Prix at SCI-Arc for several years now. Each time there is something extraordinary happening in his studio.

    Coop Himmelb(l)au’s plans for a sports resort in an abandoned Chinese quarry will surely be a unique structure that will set the bar for a new level of design.

  • James

    Quite messy and half-baked geometry. It looks like the work of a sub-par student.

  • napoleon

    Seriously, who is interested in these geometries any more?!

  • Mavis

    Yep, let’s spend more money to destroy more nature, and build these expensive spaceship looking, badly detailed shapes! Totally makes sense.

    • Ralph Kent

      Agreed. You can’t beat a bit of old-fashioned Chinese shadow-banking, can you? Build it, and they will come. We hope… Or they might just come to gawp at how ghostly it is.

  • To any architectural firm thinking on accepting a commission in China:

    Take a good look at these dystopic collection of brand-new abandoned cities.

    Now think: Is this what we want to leave behind as a legacy? THINK REAL HARD!