Often, airports are perceived as mere stopover points before transients arrive at their final destination. This was something Singapore's Changi Airport Group sought to change when it publicly announced the construction of its new terminal, the Jewel Changi Airport. The renderings released in 2015 looked almost too impossible to believe, but now finally completed, it's everything the World's Best Airport promised it to be.
This architectural wonder highlights modern design and showcases an eye-catching exterior that is a glass dome linking Terminals, 1, 2, and 3.
The design concept is in line with the country's national branding of a "City in the Garden. The Jewel toroidal inverse dome creates a new kind of spatial experience, a daylit vast landscaped garden, combined with seven levels of shopping and airport facilities," says Moshe Safdie of Safdie Architects. "Light penetrates everywhere, while the roof drains through the dome to create a dramatic waterfall, dropping seven stories to the lowest building level."
Ten stories tall, the Jewel consists of five stories above ground and five basement stories.
Its total floor area of 135,700-square meters is composed of dedicated spaces for parking, retail stores, and a hotel. A sizeable space is allotted to indoor gardens and other visitor attractions. It has everything tourists will want to see and do while on vacation, so they may never want to leave the airport grounds.
One of the must-see attractions is the HSBC Rain Vortex, a 40-meter indoor waterfall that stands at the center of the entire structure.
Surrounding the waterfall is a collection of 2,000 trees and 100,000 shrubs that make up the Shiseido Forest Valley, a large indoor garden that rivals the country's iconic Gardens by the Bay in terms of size and beauty. Visitors may get lost in the many stairways, walking trails, and pocket gardens that dot the Valley. Depending on the time of day, multicolored lights are switched on to light the way. In the evenings, the waterfall transforms into a light and sound showcase.
Early check-in is made more convenient.
Sixty percent of the airlines that fly to and from Changi Airport offer an early check-in option where passengers can proceed to self-check-in counters and deposit their luggage hours before their boarding schedule so they have enough time to comb through the airport and all its wonders.
Passengers can wait in style at the premium Changi Lounge.
It's not hard to imagine that waiting passengers desire a more comfortable and reclusive place to rest or refresh themselves, which is why the Changi Lounge is a chic haven amid the Jewel's bustle. Amenities feature everything from shower facilities to a lounge bar to designated napping areas and refreshments.
Exciting dining options make it to Changi Airport for the first time.
Some of the world's most recognizable F&B brands have set up shop at the Jewel. Those monitoring their health can head to Pink Fish, Aloha Poké or An Acai Affair, while others looking to grab a quick bite can pick something up from Shake Shack or A&W. If there's time to lounge, you can wait at Café & Meal Muji or Eggs & Things, while those looking for the complete culinary experience can make reservations at the Shangri-La Group's Shang Social, Singapore staple Violet Oon, Michelin-starred Tsuta, or El Fuego by COLLIN'S. Those looking to take something home may drop by the Rich & Good cake shop or Läderach Chocolatier Suisse.
Some of the restaurants even let customers dine al fresco, which means diners can be in the company of the perfectly landscaped gardens.
On the second basement floor, Shaw Theatres lets you catch the latest blockbuster film up until the cinema closes at 3 a.m.
The airport also houses the world's first Pokémon Center outside of Japan.
The Jewel welcomes the first YotelAir branch in Asia. This capsule hotel offers guests a place to rest their heads. Each room is outfitted with an adjustable SmartBed paired with a gel memory foam mattress and its own bathroom with a rain shower head. The best amenity of all is that guests can book by the hour.
COMING SOON: Explore the Sky Nets located at the Canopy Park.
At the top level of the Jewel lies another garden that features a playground for both young and old. There are fixtures such as the walking net, which lets users practice their balance, Canopy Mazes, and Discovery Slides. The Canopy Park also offers several food and dining options that will allow customers to enjoy a meal under the blue sky or the moon and stars. The Canopy Park and Bridge will open on June 10, 2019.