The traveler’s guide to Changi Airport’s Jewel

More reasons to love departing from, arriving in, and transiting at Changi Airport. Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

MAKE NO MISTAKE. Changi Airport’s upcoming mixed-use development is going to shine bright like a diamond.

Hence, its name.

The delicate Jewel Changi Airport, otherwise simply known as Jewel, is an addition to Singapore’s main airport that’s set to rival Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport’s facilities.

It cost SGD$1.7 billion (US$1.27 billion) to develop.

Built over the former open-air car park in front of Changi Airport’s Terminal, Jewel is part of Terminal 1’s expansion. The terminal’s arrival hall and baggage claim areas will see an increase of 70 percent.

Terminal 1’s handling capacity will also increase from 21 to 24 million passengers a year.

Additionally, Jewel will connect three of the airport’s current four terminals and will have seven stories of retail and food offerings.

Designed by a consortium of architects led by Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, the donut-shaped Jewel comprises of glass panels framed in steel which rests on a complex latticework, evoking the appearance of traditional glass conservatories.

At night, the glowing dome will be visible from all surrounding areas

For the uninitiated, Safdie also designed Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. He hopes Jewel would become as celebrated as his Sky Pool at Marina Bay Sands.

“I wanted to explore a new kind of urban space, a space you go to as a matter of course, because you need to shop, because you’re flying out somewhere, and yet it’s a garden — somewhere that says ‘let’s rethink what the public realm is, let’s rethink what it is to shop,” Safdie told CNN Travel.

A number of airports around the world are quickly becoming destinations in their own right and Jewel is no different.

Here are some of its key features:

Forest Valley

Find your zen at Forest Valley, a five-story indoor garden that will house over 2,000 trees and more than 100,000 shrubs – one of Singapore’s largest indoor collections of plants.

Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

It will also boast the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the 40-meter high cascading Rain Vortex.

And when night falls, this spectacular architectural achievement will become a stage for a mesmerizing light-and-sound show.

Canopy Park

At the topmost level of Jewel is the 14,000-square-meter Canopy Park, which will house walking trails and recreation and leisure attractions such as Topiary Walk and Petal Garden.

Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

The Topiary Walk will feature animal-shaped topiaries at every corner, while the Petal Garden will have seasonal floral displays.

The Event Plaza, where the food and beverage outlets will be located, is big to accommodate 1,000 people at a time.

Sky Nets

Children are bound to find fun and thrills with every step at Jewel’s Sky Nets, which will house exhilarating play facilities designed with the young ones in mind.

Sky Nets, the work of designers Thomas Ferwagner from Germany and Cedric Chavaud from France, boasts a 250-meter-long Bouncing Net three stories above ground.

Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

The separate 50-meter-long Walking Net, suspended over a void, enables visitors to look down 25 meters to Jewel’s Level 1.

Canopy Mazes

Designed by renowned maze creator Adrian Fisher Design founder and chairman Adrian Fisher, Canopy Mazes comprise of two mazes: Hedge Maze and Mirror Maze.

Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

The Hedge Maze will be Singapore’s largest, with 1.8-meter high hedge walls and gates that can be pushed within that will change the path of the maze.

It ends at an elevated watchtower that offers a bird’s-eye view of the entire maze.

The Mirror Maze, on the other hand, will be located under the dome with plants branching across the top of the maze.

Discovery Slides

Designed by Carve in the Netherlands and built by Playpoint in Singapore, the slides will feature four integrated slides: two tube slides and two sliding surfaces.

The entire structure will sit on an incline, three-meter-high on one end and close to seven meters on the other.

Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

As visitors spiral down in enclosed tube slides or descend over open inclines, they will be able to view the Forest Valley and the Rain Vortex.

Canopy Bridge

The 50-meter-long Canopy Bridge is suspended 23 meters above ground and will offer a view of the Rain Vortex.

It will also have glass panel flooring in the center section that offers a view through to Jewel’s Level 1.

Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

The question is, do you dare challenge your fear of heights?

Foggy Bowls

Ever wondered what it’s like to play hide-and-seek among the clouds? Wonder no more.

Designed by San Francisco’s The Exploratorium, Foggy Bowls will have four concave bowls with depths ranging from 30 to 65cm for young children to jump in.

Source: Jewel Changi Airport.

To create an illusion of playing among the cloud, mist is released from outlets in the bowls.

To add on, Jewel will also house a 130-room YOTEL airport hotel, an integrated multi-modal transport lounge, and a retail mall with 300 tenants (among which are rumored to be New York City’s Shake Shack and Old-school American fast-food chain A&W).

It’s set to be a solid boost to Changi Airport’s already impressive repertoire, as the aviation hub has previously been voted best in the world six years in a row.

Jewel is slated to open sometime in early 2019.