©Darren Soh



Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist and author. Embracing a comprehensive and humane design philosophy, Safdie is committed to architecture that supports and enhances a project’s program; that is informed by the geographic, social, and cultural elements that define a place; and that responds to human needs and aspirations.

Over a celebrated 50-year career, Safdie has explored the essential principles of socially responsible design with a distinct visual language.

His wide range of completed projects include cultural, educational, and civic instructions; neighborhood and public parks, housing, mixed-use urban centers and airports; and master plans for existing communities and entirely new cities.

Safdie’s projects can be found in North and South America and throughtout Asia.

A citizen of Israel, Canada and the United States, Safide graduated from McGill University. In 1964 he established his own firm to realize Habitat’67, an adaptation of his undergraduate thesis and a turning point in modern architecture. Most recentrly, ha was awarded the Wolf Prize in Architecture for a career motivated by the social concerns of architecture and formal experimentation.


Jewel Changi Airport

Fulfilling its mission as a connector between the existing terminals, Jewel combines two environments – an intense marketplace and a paradise garden – to create a new community-centric typology as the heart and soul of Changi Airport . Jewel weaves together an experience of being in nature with culture and leisure facilities, dramatically asserting the idea of the airport as an uplifting and vibrant urban center, and echoing Singapore’s reputation as “the City in the Garden.”

The publicly accessible 135,700 sqm center includes facilities for landside airport operations, indoor gardens and leisure attractions,retail offerings, restaurants and cafes, and hotel facilities, all under one roof. Directly connected to Terminal 1 and to Terminals 2 and 3 via pedestrian bridges, Jewel engages both in-transit passengers as well as the public at large. Each of the cardinal axes-north, south. east and west-are reinforced by gateway gardens that orient the visitors and offer visual connections between the internal program elements of Jewel and the other airport terminals.

At the heart of Jewel is the Forest Valley, a terraced indoor garden that offers many spatial and interactive experiences featuring walking trails, cascading waterfalls, and quiet seating areas. Amid the more than 200 different species of trees and flora is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall – a ‘rain vortex’ – showering down from an oculus in the domed roof to the Forest Valley garden seven stories below. The waterfall – at peak conditions flowing at more than 10,000 gallons per minute – aids in the cooling of the landscape environment and collects significant rain water to be re-used in and around the building. Surrounding the gardens is a multi-level retail marketplace on five levels that access the garden via a series of vertical canyons.

The geometry of Jewel is based on a semi-inverted toroidal dome roof. Measuring 200 meters across at the longest span,  and supported only intermittently along the rim of the garden, the integrated structure and façade system allows for a near column free interior.

Achieving a level of comfort for the diversity of activities, as well as to sustain the vast array of plant life within adequate sunlight, required an integrated system of glazing, static and dynamic shading, and an innovative and efficient displacement ventilation system. Jewel is slated to receive Singapore’s GreenMark Platinum status.

On the fifth levelis the Canopy Park, which includes 14,000 sqm of attractions integrated within the garden spaces. These include net structures suspended within the trees, a suspended catenary glass-bottom bridge walk, a planted hedge maze and mirror maze, and feature installations completed in collaboration with internationally acclaimed artists. Additional features include a topiary walk, horticultural displays,and an event plaza for 1,000 people. With Jewel, the airport has become a destination in its own right.

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