Into the Singapore Vortex

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Is there any particular reason to spend more time in an airport that you absolutely have to? The rise and rise of the airport as a destination, from Los Angeles’ LAX to London’s Heathrow and one of the better-looking terminals at Sydney, does add weight to the idea of an airport as somewhere you might actually want to spend time in. But for the latest and greatest, a visit to Singapore’s Changi airport is in order.

Last week saw the official opening of Changi Jewel, a $1.7 billion steel and glass structure that looks like a futuristic greenhouse and which has as its centerpiece the ‘rain vortex’. This turns out to be the world’s largest indoor waterfall, cascading 40m from an oculus in the ceiling to two floors below ground level and creating a tube-like sheet of water in the process.

At night a network of lights and projectors combine to add to the effect with images appearing on the surface of the water sheet and the whole is surrounded by a small-scale tropical rainforest, all of it indoors.

Changi Jewel is the handiwork of architect Moshe Safdie who has led a consortium of architects in the creation of a shopping centre-cum-visitor attraction-cum-hospitality and events destination. Changi Jewel is built on what was an open-air car park next to the airport’s Terminal 1.