Safdie Architects has been appointed to design a major new addition to Singapore Changi Airport, which is the sixth busiest international airport in the world. The “Forest Valley” indoor park will ensure that the complex is used in a variety of ways not typical of contemporary airports.Known as Project Jewel, the donut-shaped glass and steel structure will house five stories of shopping and entertainment. The two centerpieces of the project are an indoor landscape of trees, palms, and ferns with walking trails, referred to as the Forest Valley, and the 40-meter-tall waterfall that will cascade from an oculus at the top of the glass dome, titled the Rain Vortex. There will be five stories of underground parking below and the structure will be linked to the three existing terminals via enclose glass walkways.
The dome will create a centralized space that puts the focus on the natural environment. Glass panels framed in steel rest on a latticework and will, according to the architect, evoke the appearance of traditional glass conservatories. A ring of tree-like columns will be positioned along the edges of the “Canopy Park” roof garden, providing additional support for the structure. The landscaping was entrusted to California-based Peter Walker Landscape Architects.
The “jeweled” biodome was presented as a “new paradigm” for international airports that will boost Singapore’s stopover appeal and become a “lifestyle destination” for both travelers and local residents. “This project redefines and reinvents what airports are all about,” said architect Moshe Safdie. “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.”
Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2014, and completion is scheduled for the end of 2018. The Jewel hopes to become a landmark for Singapore, much like Safdie’s nearby Marina Bay Sands Resort.