What could be a more spectacular ceiling than the sky? If you admire the sky or the link between the indoors and the outdoors, then welcome to Singapore airport, which is usually known as Changi Airport, one of Asia’s most important airports. It was officially opened in December 1981. The city center is around 20 kilometers away from it. More than 100 international airlines travel from this airport to 250 locations in 60 countries and territories across the world. In 2019, it served 68.3 million passengers, making it the 18th busiest airport in the world.
It consists of four terminal buildings in total. When it was opened, it only had one terminal; however, terminal 2 opened in November 1990, followed by terminal 3 in January 2008, and finally terminal 4 in October 2017. Also, there is The Jewel Changi Airport, which opened in April 2019 and is a multi-use structure that connects Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
One of its most important features is sustainability and being the city’s gateway. It was considered as an opportunity to demonstrate biophilic innovation. Terminal 3 demonstrates an internal architectural landscape environment using a combination of building technology, natural lighting, and a living green wall, reflecting Singapore’s ideal of becoming a “city in a garden.”
It is a steel-and-glass building with four stories above ground and a 9-hectare roof that spans ticketing, departure, and arrival sections.
An overhead light modulation system made up of glass skylights and hundreds of aluminum louvers is one of the terminal’s most stunning elements. During the day, the sensor-controlled louvers fill the area with diffused light, limiting the amount of direct sunlight that enters. Those louvers can decrease the need for artificial illumination on a normal day with good weather.
Those “butterflies“ sun shading lovers – 919 high tech skylight louvers – allow only natural lighting while preventing the tropical heat from entering the building, as they adjust themselves according to the sun and clouds position.
At night artificial light reflects off the louvers, creating a homogeneous illumination pattern. This advanced technology saves money on lighting and cooling while also adding to the aesthetic appeal.
Not only the stunning daylighting factor but also the terminal has a 15-meter-high and 300-meter-wide vertical green garden wall with 20 different types of tropical rainforest plants which makes the terminal appears greener, and it also gives it a strong identity and links the indoors with the outdoors.
When you visit Singapore or transit there, this airport is undoubtedly a part of your journey, for how much natural and technological beauty is encompassed within its walls.
- Newman, P. (2014). Biophilic urbanism: a case study on Singapore. Australian Planner, 51(1), 47–65. https://doi.org/10.1080/07293682.2013.790832
- Kalinke, L. (n.d.). A Case Study for Hartsfield- ‐ Jackson International Airport.
- The magazine of the institution of engineers ,Singapore (March 2008)
- Tim Griffith (Cover Photo)