Top architects join forces for eye-catching airport extension
Singapore's Changi Airport is already notable as the site of the world's largest indoor waterfall, but now two of architecture's most prestigious names, Heatherwick Studio and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), have joined forces to add an eye-catching new terminal that will boost capacity and rely on sustainable design to reduce its grid-based energy usage.
Changi Airport Terminal 5 will take the form of a vaguely airplane-like shape and sport an unusual-looking segmented roof. The overriding idea behind the project is to double down on the existing plan to make Changi Airport a pleasant place to spend time – perhaps even if you're not a passenger.
"Our intention is to redefine what an airport terminal can be," said Thomas Heatherwick. "Most airports aren't great places to spend time but Changi has always been different. Rather than making a single vast monolith on the outskirts of a city for the exclusive use of travelers, our plan is to create a social space that people living in the city are excited to visit.
"We want to break away from the typical airport experience that you find remorselessly copied around the world and instead offer a human and homely collection of spaces filled with activity and daylight for travelers and Singaporeans alike."
It's early days yet and finer details are still lacking, but we do know that Changi Airport Terminal 5's sustainability features will include solar panels, energy efficient heating and cooling, and smart building management systems. It will also be able to supply alternative fuels to the aircraft using the terminal, such as the use of so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
Changi Airport Terminal 5 will be built over two phases. Work will begin in 2025 and it's expected to be completed sometime in the mid-2030s. Once in operation, it will have a capacity of approximately 50 million passengers per year.