Changi Airport in Singapore, better known as the Jewel, is today’s trending topic. The newly inaugurated terminal is quite a scene by itself, which also hosts the highest indoor waterfall of the world and offers endless attractions to its visitors.
The original design of the firm Safdie Architects has the shape of an inverted toroid -or glass donut- whose vortex becomes the highest indoor waterfall in the world, where the rainwater is collected from a city where precipitation is an everyday experience, thus turning what would be a problem for any airport, into the main tourist attraction.
But although this waterfall is certainly the main target of international media, The Jewel honors its name with much more than that. In fact, it has been catalogued as the best airport in the world: hotels, shops, green mazes, exquisite flora and fauna, facilities for passers-by, and the possibility for the city’s residents to enjoy the airport as much as the travelers.
Here are 3 reasons why Singapore has the most important new aeronautical jewel in the world.
Light and air in all its glory
The new terminal at Changi Airport has been designed to receive the status of Singapore’s Green Market Platinum, due to its thermal and light conditions. The case is that this is a building fully covered in glass, with excellent access to natural light and a displacement ventilation system that regulates the thermal comfort of visitors.
On the other hand, the wide variety of plants provides a permanent sensation of freshness, aside from the fact that they renovate the air that is consumed. It’s a micro-green lung that feeds on the moisture that comes from the 30-meter-waterfall located in the center of the system.
Much more than transportation
Changi Airport has been catalogued for 7 consecutive years as the best airport in the world and it doesn’t stop growing and changing to surprise visitors each year. What’s the novelty this time? Beyond the design and all the beauty in it, the usefulness of the space is the news. A place that takes advantage of the space available to the fullest and it’s open to the general public, becoming an important part of the social and commercial life of the society.
According to the architect Moshe Safdie, the 1.3 trillion dollars investment is “a place that is an integral part of the city, not only a place for transportation.” This is thanks to the multiple options offered: a dazzling botanical garden; a shopping center that hosts the world’s most prestigious brands; rest and relaxation spaces for travelers and routes of transfer from one place to another designed for those who have time to enjoy and for those who -not without regret- are simply passing by.
A place to know
This isn’t news: the best aspect of international airports is that they are hidden behind security doors. The shops, architecture and the best services are destined for the travelers, leaving residents a little marginalized. This is one of the advantages of the Jewel, the openness to all. The board of directors of Changi Airport estimates that, during the first year, about 50 million people will visit the complex, of which 60% are residents of the city who won’t need to go through the security checkpoints to enjoy the 280 shops and airport restaurants.
But if residents can have a sample of the international atmosphere of the best airport in the world, travelers won’t be left behind. It is estimated that 30% of the passers-by of the airport do not stay in Singapore, passing through the country without having the experience of sightseeing. The Jewel gives travelers the opportunity to appreciate the culture, natural beauty, commerce and gastronomy of a country that they will certainly want to visit again.
There is no doubt that the highest waterfall in the world is the main attraction of Changi Airport, but it is also fair to say that the whole complex provides an unparalleled experience due to its architectural elements and the opportunity for cultural exchange.