Airports have traditionally been a transitory area, a necessary space between where one came from and where one is headed. Everything seems to foster movement, dissuading any notion of pause: placards and sluices that guide the flow of the public, conveyors that move baggage and people, planes that shuttle passengers to chosen destinations.
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Singapore's Jewel complex at the Changi Airport reinvents this constant flux with a space that blurs the distinction between indoors and outdoors through lush greenery, world-class amenities, and a stellar dining and shopping experience. Altogether, the complex invites people to pause and linger just a bit longer.
While Changi remains a business of negotiating transit, Jewel expands this further by being the best expression of what the Lion City can offer as it plays host to millions of foreign visitors, a gateway where ‘The World Meets Singapore, and Singapore Meets the World.’ The retail center, all 53,600 square meters of it, reflects how airport business models have changed over the years and how it will continue to transform in the future.
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Directly accessible from the Changi terminals via sky bridges, Jewel acts as a central connector for the entire airport. It was designed for frictionless ease—to glide between floors and levels with minimal effort and to hopscotch from established brands to incubation retailers, all curated to offer compelling experiences to an international audience. Float up the escalators and view the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the HSBC Rain Vortex. Linger for lunch: sample Singapore’s iconic pepper crab at Jumbo Seafood, try traditional Peranakan fare at Violet Oon Singapore, slurp Japanese ramen in Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta, the first overseas branch of the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen joint, or wolf down a fresh seafood roll at Burger & Lobster. Stroll along the walking trails of the Shiseido Forest Valley and loiter at the Canopy Park for a restorative moment of introspection. Hit In Good Company, Supermama, and RISIS Trésor for a spot of shopping. Keen on extending your stay? Yotelair and Crowne Plaza Changi hope you will.
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The culmination of more than four years of planning, strategizing, and developing, with over USD 1.7 billion in investment, Jewel is a direct response to how the modern world facilitates navigation. With voyages now measuring hours, passengers are seeking new ways to make their time spent between flights more meaningful. “We want to provide a wide range of amenities that allows passengers to make the best use of their time as they transit through us,” says Jayson Goh, managing director, airport operations management at Changi.
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Photographs by the author