A Chinese company is creating a new theme park in a disused mine 100 meters deep. This technical challenge, considered as one of the most complex structures currently being built anywhere in the world (1), will become the third biggest water park in China in 2019.
A new theme park with mind-boggling dimensions
This titanic project called “the City of Joy” is located in a new district of the city of Xiangjiang (population 7 million) in the center of China. Building work on this 400 x 300 meter site began in 2014 and extends to both sides of a disused 100 meter deep mine. The total investment is 12 billion yuans (1.5 billion euros). It is designed to host 100,000 visitors a day!
The site is divided into 5 key zones, including a 30,000sq.m. ski park suspended inside the mine capped by the construction of a new water park, which features the biggest water slide in the world and marvelously pool design.
This huge project opens in a favorable context
This new park is part of a project to revitalize a highly polluted industrial park. The gaping hole left by the abandoned mine prevented urban expansion in a more conventional way and a golden opportunity for the Hunan Xiangjiang New Area Development Group public authority.
It mirrors also the growing interest of Chinese people for winter sports, galvanized by the organization of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. Although the country now has more than 700 ski resorts (2), the center of the country has only very few. That, plus a stunning pool design, means the park is sure to attract swarms of visitors.
Innovative building techniques
Built by China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the largest construction company in the world, the project had to resolve a wide range of technical challenges.
The new water park construction began a few years ago. © Xiangjiang Group
To preserve the snow on the ski slopes, the snow park will be located inside the mine and the new water park is built above it. To make this happen, an imposing steel structure featuring 48 pillars each 4.3 meters in diameter was needed to support the 200,000 tons of the park suspended above the pit. The mine itself is fragile as so many holes have been bored in the pit walls and major reinforcement works were required - 18 support walls to increase structural resistance. The challenge of a water park construction in such an unfavorable environment is sure to arouse the curiosity of professionals all over the world!
If everything goes according to plan, the new water park should open to the visitors in 2019, creating 8,000 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs in the coming months. All eyes are on the project!
Photo credit: © Xiangjiang Group