Changi's Jewel: How the world's best airport just got better

Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport, opening on April 17, is an amazing, futuristic terminal that hopes to turn a stopover into a destination in its own right.

The 10 level dome is built around the Rain Vortex, which sends water falling 40m - making it the tallest indoor waterfall in the world.

The water feature is surrounded by more than 2000 trees, 100,000 shrubs and plants, and at least 280 retail stores, restaurants and bars located throughout the indoor jungle.

A 40m indoor waterfall is just one of the attractions at Changi's Jewel.
A 40m indoor waterfall is just one of the attractions at Changi's Jewel. Photo credit: Dan Lake/Newshub.

Dining ranges from fast food like Shake Shack right through to five-star options like Violet Oon Singapore.

Jewel cost over NZ$1 billion to construct and is part of Changi's expansion plans as the popularity of air travel continues to boom.

Last year, more than 65 million passengers passed through Changi Airport - that number is expected to be 117 million by 2035. 

Jayson Goh, a managing director at Changi, told Newshub he wants that number to grow even higher.

It's only a matter of time before these orangutans become an Instagram hit
It's only a matter of time before these orangutans become an Instagram hit Photo credit: Dan Lake/Newshub.

"When you've got a happy customer, they will return and that's the winning formula that gives Changi the competitive edge," says Goh.

The complex was designed by Safdie Architects along with Mott Macdonald, and the water vortex was the work of Californian company WET, which also designed the famous water features at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the fountain in Dubai. 

For WET, Jewel Changi Airport was an entirely new challenge.

"How do we make it beautiful, how do we make it a spectacle, how do we make it that people from any corner of the world can come and see an amazing spectacle at any time of the day or night," says WET designer Tim Hunter.

Changi has been rated the world's best airport by Skytrax for the last seven years in a row.

It was already going to be difficult for another airport to dethrone it in 2020 - the opening of Jewel will make it all but impossible.

Newshub travelled to Singapore as a guest of Changi Airport Group.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz