About Me and My Travels

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Singapore "Jewel" at Changi Airport

 The Singapore "Jewel" at Changi Airport


Most travelers get to an airport a few hours before the flight , trek through check in, security, immigration and  then spend an hour or two at the duty free shops or restaurants on the airside of the terminal. This is because most airports in the world are designed as an entry and exit point and not as a destination. The Changi Airport Group decided that the journey of the travelers through Changi Airport needed to be memorable and they spent many years carefully planning an exhibit that would be a mega mall and a botanical garden. The Jewel is accessible from all the terminals with walkways and an inter-terminal train. There are early check in terminals in the Jewel so you do not have to lug your bags with you.  


The Oculus 

The whole building has a glass roof with an Oculus that showers water down from building from five stories up. This the called the rain vortex. The glass and steel roof structure is an engineering marvel. Its shape is very complex  and is designed to not only carry the weight of the glass structure but also the weight of water. That requires a lot of calculations and modelling. 


What is fascinating about the rain vortex design is that the waterfall is a perfect circle which speaks a lot about the flow design at the top. Another great design aspect is the bottom basin which perfectly captures the waterfall and prevents splashing. The entire waterfall had to be modelled by the engineers to learn the effects of the waterfall on the temperature, humidity, light levels occupant comfort etc. within the Jewel. For those interested in the design and modelling  process please read  the article on the following link: https://www.cibsejournal.com/technical/modelling-the-worlds-highest-indoor-waterfall-at-jewel-changi-airport/ .  You can also check out the link to the Safdie Architects website to learn more about the Jewel and the design process. https://www.safdiearchitects.com/projects/jewel-changi-airport


The entire building has a stepped interior and is intensely landscaped. There are fourteen hundred species of trees and countless species of  fauna. There are many trails and walkways that you can take to go up or down the Jewel.


For passengers who are in a hurry the inter-terminal trains make it very convenient  to take a quick look at the Jewel. 


There are many levels in the Jewel but the fifth level has a spectacular garden which is a "must see" item for all ages. It has a Hedge Maze, Canopy Park with Foggy Bowls for children, Topiary walk and Petal garden, Sky nets and a Canopy Bridge which is great for taking pictures from high up. 

The perimeter walkways are lined    with different types of 
Orchids,each   more spectacular than the other. You pass by a lotus pond, walking nets hanging above you, foggy bowls for small  children to play. 

Singapore, being situated in the tropics is the perfect place for orchids to grow.If you are a first time visitor to this city you are going to find lots of carefully designed and maintained gardens all over. Its no wonder that it is named "The City in the Garden". 

The landscape designers have cleverly juxtaposed a mandarin orange tree with the orchids to enhance the color scheme.  





 The garden also has non traditional trees such as this Olive tree


For those who like shopping and dining the other floors contains many different kinds. If you are flying in and out of Singapore make it a point to spend at least four hours in the Jewel. It will be worth it. For further information click on the link below.





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