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Apr 16, 2019

Changi Airport Jewel: Not just another mall

Construction of Changi Airport Terminal 1 passenger terminal building in 1978.
Source:  National Archives of Singapore

The open-air carpark at Changi Airport Terminal 1 in 1980s.

Changi Airport Jewel:  Not just another mall

Complex is meant to be the iconic centrepiece for Singapore air hub.

Article by Karamjit Kaur in The Straits Times on 6 December, 2014,

What started as an urgent but mundane need to expand Terminal 1 will now end in a Jewel - Changi Airport's hoped-for iconic centrepiece to wow travellers and enhance the air hub's attractiveness when completed by 2018.

Merely to expand the terminal would have been a wasted opportunity, said the Chief Executive Officer of Changi Airport Group, Mr Lee Seow Hiang, at the ground-breaking for the retail cum airport complex.

"To address the capacity bottle-neck, we could have just pushed out T1 and built a multi-storey carpark over it.  But we felt we could do so much more.  We had a chance, for the first time, to hub the three terminals together."

And so the decision was made to raze T1's open-air carpark and construct in it's place a five-storey high complex with five basement levels which would link all three passenger terminals.

T1 would also be upgraded and expanded in the $1.7 billion project.

Explaining at length, for the first time, the rationale and thinking behind the project, Mr Lee, who is also chairman of Jewel Changi Airport Development, a joint venture beween Changi Airport Group and CapitaMalls Asia, admitted questions had been asked about the project.

Was this a vanity showpiece?  In the light of manpower constraints in Singapore, why build another retail mall?  Was the airport getting distracted from its core business of aviation?

"This question of purpose is not a trivial one," he said, stressing that the first driving force behind the project was the growing capacity constraints at T1.

Having decided that the terminal must expand and more should be done with the piece of land, the decision was made to build a complex with close to 70 percent of the total gross floor area of about 134,000 sq m set aside for retail with about 300 shops.

Yes, Singapore has about 150 malls but many serve local communities with only a handful that are strong enough to capture the attention of tourists, Mr Lee said.

Jewel, which will be funded and operated by the new joint venture firm with CapitaMalls Asia, plans to be different, he said, thought the retail mix has not been finalised.

Throwing his weight behind the project, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, who was the chief guest at yesterday's event, said: "We are operating in a dynamic and increasingly competitive environment.
Passengers today are spoilt for choice as air hubs around the world actively pursue new ways to boost their appeal as destinations and as transit points."

Jetstar Asia's Chief Executive Officer Bara Pasupathi agreed, noting the development of Jewel would "better serve the sophisticated taste of travellers in the region".

Renowned architect Moshe Safdie, 76, the man behind Marina Bay Sands who is leading the design team for Jewel, has big dreams for the project.

Mr Safdie, who also attended the ground-breaking, said: "I would like to think that in four years, people outside Singapore will say to their friends, 'When you go to Singapore and land at Changi, don't dare to leave the airport before you visit Jewel'.  Or better still, perhaps say 'You must fly to Singapore or travel to Singapore because you've got to see that Jewel."

Changi Airport’s new T1 carpark, situated within Jewel Changi Airport (Jewel), will open on 20 November 2018. The carpark is part of the ongoing T1 expansion works, which commenced in March 2015 in conjunction with the Jewel development.

The latest attraction at the Jewel Changi Airport to watch the videos here  and here .

At 135,700 sqm in size, Jewel offers a range of offerings including airport facilities, indoor gardens and leisure attractions, retail and dining offerings as well as a hotel, all under one roof.

Please watch The Making of Jewel Changi Airport here .

Creating a mythical garden was the inspiration of the world famous architect Moshe Safdie.
Memories of Changi Airport Terminal 1

Kids love to watch real aeroplanes (not toy ones) at the waving gallery of Singapore's Changi Airport in 1986 as the aeroplanes take-off and landing at the airport runways.

It was fun and exciting to watch these aeroplanes so small from a distance in the sky and how they become bigger when landed at the airport.

Our airport is among the busiest in the world with every few minutes for aeroplanes to arrive and depart to serve the international passengers.  It has consistently been rated the world's preferred airport by frequent travellers and readers of influential and popular publications.

The airport was my kids' favorite place for weekend outings ..... to watch the aeroplanes, roving around the spacious places in airconditioned comfort, funstuff like riding on a trishaw, foodies for kids and of course, ice-cream at Swensons :)

Travelling in a trishaw is fun for children to remember their childhood memories. 

The 2 photos taken at Changi Airport Terminal 1 in the 1980s of a trishaw, displayed by the Singapore Promotion Board which was a favorite among kids for taking the photos.

A&W All American Food in Singapore

The 'Great Root Bear' is the popular mascot for A & W Root Beer.  It was first used in 1974 Canadian A & W, and was adopted by the American chain, the Great Root Bear's role as mascot.  In the above photos, my 2-year-old daughter was nervous when carried by the Great Root Bear in 1982.

The taste of nostalgia lures snaking queues of A&W fans to Jewel Changi Airport. 

A&W - which stands for Allen and Wright - made its debut in Singapore in 1966 at Dunearn Road, and the first A&W drive-through opened in 1970 at Bukit Timah Road.

The fast-food joint's hamburgers, hot dogs and root beer soon became popular among Singaporeans and it is believed its success helped pave the way for other fast-food establishments to set up shop in Singapore, including McDonald's (1979), Kentucky Fried Chicken (1977) and Burger King (1982)/

However, by 2003, A&W faced stiff competition from its competitors and shuttered its remaining outlets.

With the opening of Jewel Changi Airport, however, the well-loved chain is back with an 80-seater outlet, which will be open 24-hours a day.



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