Architect Moshe Safdie is best known for introducing the notion of “humanizing” city living, an idea that was embodied in his at the time-revolutionary project Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada. Now, this Israeli-born sustainable architect sensation is spreading his wings in what is being called his most ambitious project yet—Singapore’s Project Jewel.
Safdie has been charged with the task of constructing a huge bio-dome at Singapore’s Changi Airport that will contain lavish gardens and fluid waterfalls that will pour down from the dome’s roof. The dome will connect between airport terminals 1, 2 and 3 at Changi Airport, a huge transportation hub that serves nearly 30 percent of Singapore’s air travel, and is meant to attract tourists and locals alike to spend time in Singapore’s airport. The dome, itself constructed from steel and glass, will contain stores, restaurants and offer up exciting activities that will hopefully make traveling to and from Singapore a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Project Jewel’s gardens will include green walls to offset the emissions from the jets overhead, which will serve nearly 85 million passengers by the time the dome is completed. The current budget for the construction of the dome is $1.5 billion, which means that Project Jewel will be nothing short of extraordinary, although an anticipated date of completion has not yet been released.
Mr Lee Seow Hiang, CAG’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are very excited about this opportunity to create at Changi Airport an iconic global attraction that will capture the hearts of both tourists and Singaporeans. For tourists, we envisage Project Jewel to be a must-visit Singapore attraction, located strategically at the doorstep of one of the world’s busiest air hubs, and an extension of the Changi brand promise that many travellers worldwide have come to know us for. For Singaporeans, it will be an exciting world-class destination right here at home, where they can relax and enjoy with their loved ones, again and again.”
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It’s no wonder that Safdie was chosen to head the project. He is well known in Singapore and the world for fusing together the realms of nature and architecture in his 85 projects spread over 5 continents. At the Canada World Fair in 1967, Safdie broke ground with his Habitat 67 project, actually his master’s thesis, which in many eyes reinvented the apartment building to make each unit feel like a separate home. From there, he went on to construct the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad VeShem, in Israel, Singapore’s magnificent Marina Sands Resort, the United Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, just to name a few.
When it comes to integrating nature and architecture, Moshe Safdie has and continues to be the man in charge.
Photos: Changi Airport