Singapore to open $1.25bn Jewel Changi Airport facility

A multi-dimensional tourist complex will open its doors to the world on 17 April

Travellers flying to Singapore can soon enjoy a completely new experience. The Changi Airport has announced the opening of its much-anticipated facility called Jewel that will connect the airport’s current four terminals.

The 130,000 square metres large complex will have a total of 10 storeys — five above ground and five below. It will feature attractions, gardens, 280 retails and a 130-cabin Yotelair Singapore Changi Airport hotel.

Designed by a consortium comprising Safdie Architects, led by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, as well as architects from RSP Architects Planners and Engineers and Benoy, Jewel will feature a distinctive dome-shaped facade made of glass and steel.

The most impressive feature of the complex will be an indoor waterfall called Rain Vortex. With the height of almost 40 metres, it will be the world’s tallest ever built.

The new “magical garden”, as the architect calls his project, cost a reported US$1.25 billion (SGD$1.7 billion) to build.

“I wanted to explore a new kind of urban space, a space you go to as a matter of course, because you need to shop, because you’re flying out somewhere, and yet it’s a garden somewhere that says ‘let’s rethink what the public realm is, let’s rethink what it is to shop,’” architect Safdie told CNN Travel.

“I think one of the reasons [we won] the bid was that the other submissions looked like malls and felt like malls, while this one, you don’t think of it as a mall, because it’s a new kind of experience. It makes us rethink what urban centres could be like if we stretch our thinking.”

Singapore’s Changi Airport is the world’s seventh busiest airport for international traffic. In 2018, the airport welcomed record-breaking 65.6 million customers.

The Jewel will first open to Singapore residents between 11 and 16 April. On 17 April, the new facility will welcome its first international guests.