Singapore's leisure-filled airport attraction on track for 2019 opening, complete with 40m indoor waterfall and forest valley

To strengthen Changi Airport’s competitive advantage and ensure that we continue to capture passenger mindshare and traffic, we must take deliberate steps to enhance Changi’s attractiveness as a stopover point
– Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of Changi Airport Group

Construction is nearing completion on “a world-class, signature lifestyle destination” at Singapore’s Changi Airport, which has been designed to boost the city-state’s appeal as a stopover point for global travellers.

Conceived as the world’s most ambitious airport leisure attraction, the complex, called The Jewel, is being built inside an enormous glass dome covering a 40m-high indoor waterfall and a five-storey ‘forest valley’ with 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs.

The building – which is 75 per cent complete – will be connected directly to the airport’s Terminal 1 and linked to Terminals 2 and 3 via air-conditioned bridges with travelators, which will overlook the waterfall.

Occupying a 3.5 hectare site on a former car park, the 10-storey project will have five basement floors housing an estimated 300 retail, food and beverage outlets.

Canadian architect Moshe Safdie collaborated with international firm Benoy and local practice RSP on the design, which is intended to be “architecturally iconic from both Airport Boulevard and the sky.”

The installation of the more than 9,000 pieces of glass that form the dome is set to be completed by June 2018, according to airport officials, who confirmed The Jewel is on track for a 2019 opening.

When complete, attractions will include a Canopy Park, featuring the world’s largest indoor ‘walking and bouncing’ sky nets – suspended 25m above the ground – and discovery slides overlooking the site’s public gardens. A hedge maze and mirror maze and a topiary walk will also be included in this zone.

In the evenings, the waterfall will be the centre of a ‘Rain Vortex’ light and sound show.

Speaking when The Jewel was first launched in 2013, CEO of Changi Airport Group, Lee Seow Hiang, claimed that the development was a response to the trend of airports around the world actively growing their destination appeal.

“To strengthen Changi Airport’s competitive advantage and ensure that we continue to capture passenger mindshare and traffic, we must take deliberate steps to enhance Changi’s attractiveness as a stopover point,” he said. “With Project Jewel, we are pleased to be developing an exciting product that will swing travellers to choose Changi Airport, and Singapore.

“Meanwhile, for tourists, we envisage Project Jewel to be a must-visit Singapore attraction. For Singaporeans, it will be an exciting world-class destination right here at home, where they can relax and enjoy with their loved ones, again and again.”

In related news, architecture firms Kohn Pedersen Fox and Heatherwick Studio have recently won an international competition to design Changi Airport Terminal 5, which will add an initial capacity of up to 50 million passengers per year, described as “a city within itself – and an integral piece of Singapore.”

Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio, said: “This is an extraordinary opportunity to break away from the sterility and soullessness we’ve come to expect from typical airport environments. We’re excited to treat this next phase of Changi as a new piece of city and bring together the rigour of airport planning with an uncompromising interest in the quality of human experience for passengers.”

Singapore  Changi Airport  The Jewel  Moshe Safdie  Benoy  RSP  Kohn Pedersen Fox  Heatherwick Studio 
Construction is nearing completion on “a world-class, signature lifestyle destination” at Singapore’s Changi Airport, which has been designed to boost the city-state’s appeal as a stopover point for global travellers. Conceived as the world’s most ambitious airport leisure attraction, the complex, called The Jewel, is being built inside an enormous glass dome covering a 40m-high indoor waterfall and a five-storey ‘forest valley’ with 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs. The building
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Conceived as the world’s most ambitious airport leisure attraction, The Jewel is being built inside an enormous glass dome / Changi Airport
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