The world’s largest indoor waterfall is under construction in Singapore’s new Jewel Changi Airport extension. Designed by Safdie Architects, the spheroid-shaped dome will be a new luxury lifestyle destination at one of the busiest airports on the planet, featuring 134,000 square meters of facilities including airport services, indoor gardens, shopping and leisure attractions – including a canopy park in the upper levels of the dome.
The 40 meter tall waterfall is known as the “Rain Vortex”, engineered by design firm WET, whose work includes the fountains at the foot of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The towering cascade will be the centerpiece for the project’s “Forest Valley” urban garden.
In 2015, Safdie Architects was appointed as designer for a major new addition to Singapore Changi Airport, the sixth busiest international airport in the world. The new development, known as Jewel Changi Airport, is intended to enhance the airport’s position as a major aviation hub, integrating airport facilities with leisure activities to create a public gathering space and establish a new model for airports as discrete destinations for stopovers.
“This project redefines and reinvents what airports are all about. The new paradigm represented by Jewel Changi Airport is to create a diverse and meaningful meeting place that serves as a gateway to the city and country, complementing commerce and services with attractions and gardens for passengers, airport employees, and the city at large,” said architect Moshe Safdie at the project groundbreaking. “Our goal was to bring together the duality of a vibrant marketplace and a great urban park side-by-side in a singular and immersive experience. By drawing both visitors and local residents alike, we aim to create a place where the people of Singapore interact with the people of the world.”
Jewel evokes Singapore’s unique identity as a “City in a Garden,” and the main transportation roadway to Changi Airport is lined with large canopy trees and lush greenery, connecting the green exterior with the gardens within the terminal.
At the heart of the project is a dramatic Rain Vortex that cascades from the occulus down to the center of the atrium, transforming into a light and sound show in the evening, which will be visible from the dining terraces that face into the garden. Additionally, rainwater is funneled into the waterfall and harvested for building services and landscape irrigation systems. At peak conditions, water will flow through the occulus at more than 10,000 gallons per minute.
Israel-born Moshe Safdie is a Canadian architect, urban designer, educator, theorist, and author. He is most identified with Habitat 67, which paved the way for his international career. Safdie Architects has designed two international travel centers prior to Jewel: Israel’s principal gateway, Ben Gurion International Airport, in 2004 and Terminal 1 at Lester B.Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada, in 2007.