The traveling public gets its first immersion into the Jewel experience at Changi International Airport in Singapore with its opening today that includes debuting the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
The 1.46 million square foot complex was designed by famed architect Moshe Safdie (Skriball Culteral Center in Los Angeles, Yad Vashem Museum in Tel Aviv and many other landmarks) and towers 10 stories high with more than 280 restaurants and stores. A Canopy Park has a 165-foot sky bridge for a lofty perspective of the indoor forest comprised of some 1,400 trees for greenery and shade from the filtered radiance of natural light.
The glass, sphere-shaped venue was four years in the making to a cost of $1.25 billion with the goal of making the airport a destination in itself. That effort has been underway for some time with such unusual airport amenities as a butterfly park and movie theater, even a swimming pool for those with long layovers. Singapore Airlines offers transit travelers with more than five hours between flights a tour of the city as an optional amusement.
The centerpiece of the Jewel is the Forest Valley with its terraced garden, and its Rain Vortex waterfall. There are two mazes to navigate (one with mirrors, one of hedges), a super slide, and eight bars and restaurants.
A charged shopping experience brings 280 retail outlets with familiar brand names. There is a Shake Shack, an A & W Root Beer outlet and plenty of Singaporean food counters to explore. A 130-room Yotelair hotel also opened with the Jewel and features rooms rentable by the half-day.
The new attraction also has a full-size supermarket, an 11-screen cinema, and convenient early check-in counters.