The Safdie Architects-designed Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore is due to start construction before the New Year, the practice has confirmed. This ambitious 134,000 sq m expansion project at Changi Airport was first announced in August 2013 however Safdie Architects has now released updated renderings as construction draws closer.
The images depict a grand domed structure with an oculus at the centre, through which a 40m-tall waterfall cascades into the atrium below. This ‘Rain Vortex’ provides a focal point for the internal landscape of mature trees, ferns and palms, given the name ‘Forest Valley’ by the design team.
Moshe Safdie explains: “This project redefines and reinvents what airports are all about. The new paradigm represented by Jewel Changi Airport is to create a diverse and meaningful meeting place that serves as a gateway to the city and country, complementing commerce and services with attractions and gardens for passengers, airport employees, and the city at large.”
The design team drew on Singapore’s reputation as a ‘City in a Garden’ and the connection between the city and Jewel Changi Airport which is lined with canopy trees and verdant foliage. The upper level of the development is a roof garden and has been dubbed ‘Canopy Park’. Designed in collaboration with Californian practice PWP Landscape Architecture, the area boasts a number of green attractions.
There are walking trails, multi-level gardens and a light and sound show involving the Rain Vortex, all of which have been designed to enhance the user experience. It is hoped that this bold new development will help Singapore become a stopover location for long-haul flyers, some of whom may wish to stay in the cabin hotel at Jewel Changi Airport.
Safdie furthers: “Our goal was to bring together the duality of a vibrant marketplace and a great urban park side-by-side in a singular and immersive experience. The component of the traditional mall is combined with the experience of nature, culture, education, and recreation, aiming to provide an uplifting experience. By drawing both visitors and local residents alike, we aim to create a place where the people of Singapore interact with the people of the world.”