Construction of the USD1.32 billion Jewel development at Singapore Changi Airport is almost finished, with initial operations planned to begin before June 2019.
Ground was broken on Jewel in December 2014. It is developed by a joint venture called Jewel Changi Airport Trustee Pte Ltd (JCAT), in which airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) holds a majority 51% stake and the rest owned by CapitaMalls Asia.
Jewel was partly conceived to raise the annual capacity of Changi Terminal 1 (T1) to 24 million passengers per annum but a far grander ambition was in play, according to Hung Jean, CEO of Jewel development and property management organisation Jewel Changi Airport Development (JCAD). Hung said the development combines airport operations with retail and commercial activities, augmenting Changi as a major international airport by boosting its appeal as a stopover destination.
She explained that CAG decided to go beyond adding extra airport facilities and a multistorey car park to T1 by optimising land usage to develop a multidimensional complex that will offer visitors a unique airport experience.
The result is a mixed-use development with gardens, attractions, retail, and dining outlets, as well as facilities to support airport operations. “We intend for Jewel Changi Airport to be the jewel of Changi, from lighting up the airport landscape to having exceptional quality of a product that sparkles, captivates and delights,” Hung told Jane’s .
The 137,000 m 2 complex, which has a glass-and-steel dome façade designed by a consortium involving Safdie Architects, Benoy and RSP, includes 10 levels (five above ground and five below). The design emphasises natural features, which include a 40 m-high Rain Vortex – the tallest indoor waterfall in the world – that transforms into a light and sound show at night.
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