Singapore to add world’s tallest indoor waterfall to airport

Keeping up in the global race to attract airline passengers, Singapore has started building a new leisure component at Changi Airport that features such spectacles as the world’s highest indoor waterfall (pictured) and a five-storey indoor forest.

A joint venture between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and CapitaMalls Asia, the development at Terminal 1, called Jewel, promises "a unique mix of lush nature and urban energy that will bring together a world of ideas in leisure, shopping, and dining".

Construction of the development, which also includes shops and a hotel, began in December. 

One of the key attractions will be a 40m-high "Rain Vortex", which is expected to be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. 

Another will be "Forest Valley", a five-storey garden filled with thousands of trees and plants. With five storeys above ground and five basement storeys, Jewel will cover a total gross floor area of approximately 134,000 sq m.

The development of Jewel at the 3.5ha site will also expand T1’s footprint, increasing passenger handling capacity to 24 million passengers a year. New pedestrian connections will be constructed between Jewel and Terminals 2 and 3.

Changi managed 54.1 million passenger movements in 2014, the most in its 33-year history, CAG said. This was a slight increase – 0.7% – on 2013.

From an engineering point of view, the mechanical and services aspects of Jewel will be a challenge. UK-based Mott MacDonald is the building services consultant. Its project director, CheeChuan Tan, said it would be the first time such a combination of facilities would be under one roof in Singapore.

"The project includes various sustainable features such as optimised chilled and condenser water pipe routing to minimise the power required for pump usage, as well as rainwater harvesting for use in plant irrigation," he said. "Condensate water from air handling units will also be recycled, while hot water will be generated through the use of heat pumps."

Photograph: Artist’s render of the 40m-high "Rain Vortex", which is expected to be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall (CapitaMalls Asia)

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