We do love a well designed terminal here at thedesignair.net. Whatsmore, one that manages to successfully combine passenger needs and beautiful design. So when we saw these renderings for the new Changi airport that were revealed today, we were thrilled! The airport has announced on the day of its groundbreaking that “with the construction of Terminal 4 (T4), design and process innovations will redefine passengers’ travel experience, raise operational efficiency and manpower productivity for airlines and airport agencies.” according to their press release.
The images showcase a large spacious environment, with more green spaces, trees and large windows all connecting the airport with the environment from the outside. But that’s not the main focus of the terminal. The design of the terminal is very much pitched at the obvious future of air travel dubbed FAST (Fast and Seamless Travel); self service checkouts, biometric scanning, bag drop, immigration clearance and boarding all made to speed up and smooth out the transition between the user and the airline.
The Terminal was designed by a consortium, led by SAA Architects in Singapore, and includes UK architecture firm Benoy Ltd. As part of the nature inspiration, the airport was designed based upon an orchid petal. Taking over the site where the original ‘Budget Terminal’ was, the T4 structure will be two storeys high, with a massive gross floor area of 195,000 metres. Holding the internal flow of passengers together is the 300m long ‘Central Galleria’.
“Besides creating a sense of openness, greenery and natural lighting – a Changi Airport signature – will also be used to enhance the ambience of the terminal. And taking public feedback into consideration, the T4 transit area will feature local culture and heritage-theme features, such as retail stores with facades of old Peranakan shop houses. Retail and F&B offerings at T4 will be comparable to the range and variety offered at Changi Airport’s other terminals.”
We love these Peranakan shop houses, whilst a little bit ‘Vegas’ it’s this originality that adds a bit of fun to a journey in an otherwise possibly stereotypically sterile environment.
Whilst the airport hasn’t yet announced which airlines will inhabit the terminal, the terminal has been strategically designed to accommodate both Low Cost and Legacy carriers. “In terms of floor area, the T4 building will be about seven times larger than the Budget Terminal, with 17 contact stands for narrow-body aircraft and four for wide-body aircraft. These stands will come with aerobridges, increasing convenience and accessibility for passengers. Designed to enable quick turnaround of aircraft, T4 will have the flexibility to serve both regional full-service and low-cost carriers.”
Mr Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of Changi Airport Group, said: “Terminal 4 is set to challenge and redefine the way we travel. We have conceptualised and designed the terminal for passengers who view the time spent at the airport as very much part of their travel and holiday. Hence, we are introducing new breakthroughs that will enhance their travel experience and excite them at the same time.
“With T4, we are rethinking travel, exploring how key operational functions can be designed differently to optimise process flow, interior space, as well as manpower resources. We are also challenging ourselves to deliver an even higher level of the Changi Experience, by creating a boutique ambience and reflecting thoughtfulness for our passengers through the details in our design. In the aspects of architecture, layout and technology, we have future-proofed the terminal so that it can adjust to changing requirements of the industry.”