Lush, ethereal and expansive – Moshe Safdie’s 134,000 sq m (1,442,000 sq ft) Jewel Changi Airport conception can be described by many adjective-laden praise words. To that end, the nigh forested indoors of the envisaged greenhouse-like, glass dome design is a far cry from the mostly contemporary setups we are used to in airport spatial scopes. But the ‘piece de resistance’ of the entire ambit is arguably the centrally located 40 m (131 ft) high waterfall christened as the Rain Vortex.
The roaring spout of water does seamlessly blend with the transparency of the building’s glass skin from a distance. But as we move closer, one can feel the force of nature that is accentuated by the downward curving shape of the airport’s glass dome. And, the interesting part is – this voluminous display of cascading H2O is actually recycled back into the building’s system for an uninterrupted usage cycle without any water wastage.
As for the other spatial aspects of the extensive airport, the overall design is envisioned as a bridge between a user-driven commercial establishment and a nature preserve (aptly called the ‘Forest Valley’). In that regard, Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport boasts of a park that verdantly covers the circulation points of the three terminals. This lush space will be accompanied by semi-public zones like shopping malls, walking trails and sitting/waiting areas.
Lastly, beyond conceptual renderings, the Jewel Changi Airport is already under construction, with its completion expected to be achieved by 2018.