One of the most amazing things you’ll see this year is Moshe Safdies ‘Project Jewel’. A mixed use complex at Changi Airport in Singapore. The project was commissioned in a bid to encourage transiting passengers to lengthen their stay in the country, and as such boost Tourism in Singapore.
The CEO of Changi Airport Group, Lee Seow Hiang, said in a statement “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. With Project Jewel, we are pleased to be developing an exciting product that will swing travellers to choose Changi Airport, and Singapore. We are very excited about this opportunity to create an iconic global attraction that will capture the hearts of both tourists and Singaporeans. For tourists, we envisage Project Jewel to be a must-visit Singapore attraction, located strategically at the doorstep of one of the world’s busiest air hubs, and an extension of the Changi brand promise that many travellers worldwide have come to know us for. 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.”
Drawing on Singapore’s reputation as a “City in a garden” Safdie and his team were able to create an awe-inspiring scheme that boggles the mind. Covering about 134,000 sqm, is a grand, oval shaped, steel and glass domed structure that features a 40m tall waterfall at the core of the structure, surrounded by a plethora of lush green and vegetation as well as a roof garden, called “The Canopy Park”. The waterfall cascades into an atrium below via an oculus at the centre of the ‘roof’ of the structure, which is quite a sight to behold. The atrium is referred to as the “Forest Valley” as it is home to mature trees, ferns and plants.
This approach truly re-invents what airports can and should be. It creates a very dynamic and diverse destination that offers a new kind of retail and leisure experience with multi level shopping, a cabin hotel, walking trails, water features, travel-related amenities, multi-level gardens as well as an audio visual show on the water fall, all of which greatly enhance the experience for the passengers, the staff of the facility and the entirety of Singapore. The project is to be constructed on the current carpark of the Changi Airport Terminal 1, which will be replaced with multistorey basement parking as part of the new development.
The man himself, Moshe Safdie, speaks on his most recent design masterpiece, stating,
“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.”
One thing is certain, former stopover, transit passengers, would definitely spend much more time at the Jewel Changi Airport , I just hope they don’t end up missing their flights.