Carrying on my explorations of the Changi Airport Jewel. We previously touched on the Jewel’s key attractions, them being the HSBC Rain Vortex waterfall and extensive range of Shopping and Dining options. Now lets check out the other big attraction the establishment has to offer- The Changi Airport Jewel Rooftop Canopy Park.
Greenery at the top
Last but definitely not least is the offerings of the Jewel’s Rooftop Canopy Park. Much of Jewel’s beauty lies within its Rooftop Canopy Park. It is predominately a 14,000 square meter canopy park overlooking the Vortex with two walking trails.
Moreover, at the entrance to the park is a gantry which signifies the entrance and exit the garden. The gardens flows through a series of paved and wooden broadwalks in a linear fashion. Notably, it goes around in a full circle around the building perimeter and ending where your started.
The gardens are clean and tranquil, with only the sounds of the Water Vortex ringing in the background. Moreover, throughout the route are several points of interests scattered about the park, such as children play areas.
Children play areas at the Canopy park
Moreover, by the canopy park pub Food and Beverage outlet area is a suspended glass floor bridge. Called the Canopy Bridge, the 50 meter long bridge spans from the top floor over the vortex grounds. Also, it gives visitors a bird’s eye view at the entire vortex sector greenery below.
Check out a 180 degree panoramic overview of the Water Vortex gardens, skytrain track bridge from the top viewing deck rooftop canopy park.
180 degree panoramic overview of the Water Vortex gardens
Furthermore, topping up the canopy park attractions a 250m-long Bouncing and Walking Net, slides, as well as a Hedge Maze and Foggy Bowls bowling green. They serve as good exploration points and are assured to keep the young ones entertained. Also, notably, the sky nets are rated strong enough to hold 1,000 people at once, though the attraction will operate at a capacity way lower than that.
They are suspended three storeys above ground at its highest point over the shopping mall below. The attraction gives you the thrill of looking through the voids. Also, the nets were customised specially for Jewel and is the first of its kind created on such a scale.
Furthermore, there is a peculiar orange mirror sculpture called the Discovery Slides. The slides are both decorative as an art sculpture and functional as a children’s playground. Moreover, it features four slides of differing inclinations and shapes (straight or spiral).
Topping up the play offerings here is Singapore’s largest hedge maze. Feeling lost? There is even a lookout tower in the maze that offers views of the whole park, as well as helping your friends find their way out.
Topiaries park and flowers!
Notably, the garden is more than 2,000 trees and palms home to the Canopy Park. There is a mix of greenery, flowers and water features, such as ponds and fountains.
Also, the lush garden is home to a couple of animal themed flower arrangements, as well as a couple of manicured flower beds and bonsai displays. Say hi to the Topiary Walk, it is a section featuring an assortment animal-shaped (flower) topiaries.
Furthermore, the design motivation of the Jewel greenery, as told by architect Moshe Safdie was to create some kind of great paradise and a mystical garden. However, it has to be something appropriate for an airport and that is a place of serenity and repose.
Moreover, Moshe shared that inspiration for the jewel came from the land of Pandora, as shown in the scene of the film Avatar, the science fiction movie that was released in 2009. He initially wanted to create a free hanging rock for the garden, but was scrapped due to issues of practicality.
Cooling the beast of a greenhouse
Structurally, the entire Jewel facade is made up of more than 9,000 pieces of specially manufactured glass, close to 18,000 pieces of steel beams and over 6,000 steel nodes. This coupled with Singapore’s strong sunny tropical climate means some seriously cooling is required to cool the enormous green-house.
Additionally, the canopy park roof area has no overhead air conditioning ducts. Instead all the air-conditioning in the Canopy Park are piped from floor metal vents which runs alongside the canopy park walkways. They look like drain covers, but you can feel the cool air blowing when standing on them.
Furthermore, chilled pipes in the floors and fogging devices to maintain the plant habitat micro-climate are similar to those used in the Garden by the Bays conservatories like the Flower dome.
Hence, this, with a combination of glass panels allows the Jewel to maintain its greenhouse-like micro-climate at a comfortable temperature of 24 degrees for visitors with minimal power consumption. Moreover, it does get pretty cooling up here even on a hot sunny day.
the design motivation of the Jewel greenery, as told by architect Moshe Safdie was to create some kind of great paradise and a mystical garden.
Chill-out pubs on the rooftop
Furthermore, adding to the greenery are couple of rooftop amenities and chill-out dining areas. Using escalators or elevators to the top, you enter straight into a roof top pub and dining area.
Additionally, the rooftop has a beer garden party feel complete with deck chairs surrounded by a garden lit by a skylight. Similarly, you may take nuances of the Jewel’s glass roof here bearing close similarities to the conservatories in the Marina South Gardens by the bay. Also, interestingly, the outdoor seating tables also has Umbrella shades, though the roof top is not exactly outdoor to begin with.
Commendably, Capitaland mall did not spare any expense in sourcing an outstanding F&B selection up here too. Outlets here includes Tanuki, London’s famed Burger & Lobster and a Tiger Beer Lab pub. Moreover, they offer limited edition Tiger merchandise as well as a themed Jewel beer bottle.
Conclusion- Excellent for a day out
The Jewel cements Singapore Changi airport as one of the best an Airport can offer. A five-storey lush garden with a 40 meter tall indoor waterfall is something literally unheard of, even for an Airport. Moreover, my visit was rather pleasant, though it get crowded at times during the opening preview week. Henceforth, I can expect crowds to normalise in about 3 months time where you can better enjoy the attraction.
All in all, you are good at the Jewel for 3-4 hours if you are to dine-in as well as explore every nook in the building. Also, it has plenty to offer as a new entertainment and shopping complex in the east of Singapore with a curated selection of new first time outlets to boot. Do check it out when you are in the east.
It is certainly the new crowning Jewel for the best airport in the world.
View more photos of the Changi Jewel in its photo album here.