Following four years of construction and nonstop media coverage, Singapore’s long-awaited Jewel Changi Airport is officially open.
Featuring a dramatic, doughnut-shaped exterior framed in steel and glass, the 135,700-square-meter space (around 1.46 million square feet) is a multi-use complex designed to connect three of Changi Airport’s four terminals.
But above all, the April 17 opening confirms long-held suspicions that yes, the “world’s best airport” is now even better and will likely hold onto its top spot on the Skytrax rankings, which it has dominated for the past seven years, for the foreseeable future.
Built at a cost of SG$1.7 billion (about US$1.25 billion) and designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, Jewel has 10 stories – five above ground and five in the basement.
The star attraction is the 40-meter-tall (around 130 feet) HSBC Rain Vortex, which cascades through a huge oculus in the middle of Jewel and is billed as the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
It’s a dramatic site that’s usually heard before it’s seen as passengers exit the retail and dining zones that wrap around the Jewel’s outer sections and head toward the center, where they’re met with the thunderous sounds of a waterfall that appears to fall from the sky.