Airport “Forest” Being Created in Singapore

Singapore’s new structure for Changi Airport, the Jewel Changi, is currently under construction, expecting completion in early 2019.


Project Jewel will no doubt re-confirm the airport’s reputation as the world’s best airport. For the fifth consecutive year, Changi International has been named the best airport in the world by consumer aviation website Skytrax. The  hub has long been praised by travelers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, and luxurious amenities.

A winner of multiple best airport awards over the years, Changi served 54.1 million passengers in 2014.

When completed, the impressive steel-and-glass biosphere-style structures will be filled with plants and a gigantic waterfall.

More than simply a new terminal, Jewel Changi Airport will be constructed on the site of the old parking lot fronting the existing Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, and will be smoothly connected to the existing terminals.


The huge donut-like structure consists of 10 levels — five above ground and five underground — integrating airport facilities, with retail and leisure outlets.

This includes 130 hotel rooms — operated by international hotel brand YOTEL — along with more than 300 dining and shopping outlets.

The complex will house an integrated multi-modal transport lounge – so ticketing, boarding pass and baggage transfer service will be available for passengers. Early check-in facilities at the complex will allow passengers to check-in and drop off luggage ahead of regular check-in times. There will also be new subway links connecting all the airports terminals to the MRT network.



But the extraordinary feature of the new complex — and maintaining Singapore’s reputation as the “garden city,” — will be Jewel Changi’s centerpiece — Forest Valley.

Four different gateway gardens will feature unique landscape elements. The North Gateway Garden, for instance, will use the trunks of rain trees recycled from the airport’s old open-air parking lot.

On the top level is the Canopy Park — one of the Jewel’s three major attractions along with a indoor waterfall and a five-story-tall garden called Forest Valley.

Canopy Park will have gardens, walking trails, playgrounds and eateries spanning approximately 13,000 square meters. It will have 2500 trees and 100,000 ferns and shrubs

This is an area where visitors can simply relax and have fun with their families and friends.



Canopy Park is divided into several sections including

….a botanical garden,…

… A nature walk with animal-shaped topiary, and …

… A pair of hedge mazes.

The Discovery Slide is an art sculpture that doubles as a children’s’ slide. It is also a great viewing gallery to see the Rain Vortex and Forest Valley.

The glass-bottom Canopy Bridge sits 75 ft. in the air.

The Canopy Bridge and other sections of the park emit puffs of mist to give children the illusion of playing among the clouds.

lThe 131-foot-tall waterfall, dubbed the Rain Vortex , has been conceived by water design firm WET and Safdie Architects, will be the centerpiece of “Forest Valley,” a lush indoor garden nestled under a large glass dome.


It will be housed in a huge glass toroid, and will fall though the hole in the middle of the structure. At night, choreographed light shows will make the waterfall glow, illuminating the interior in an array of different colors.

The architects and engineers conducted a series of airflow studies on the glass dome in order to prevent the buildup of humid air that would naturally occur around this amount of falling water. The team came up with a solution that alters the way turbulence affects the surrounding air. Several built models helped determine the behavior of the design.



Further information about this extraordnary project is available at:






“Light and Nature” Sustainability in Singapore


Photo © 2017  CHOI+SHINE

This year’s iLight Marina Bay Festival in Singapore, featured a spectacular interactive work of art, The Urchins,  created by Choi+Shine Architects. The event’s theme is sustainability, and the three 56-foot-tall artworks symbolized the beauty and diversity of nature.

In a totally immersive experience, each of the suspended sculptures moved when touched by the wind or even visitors, who were invited to handle the polyester cords and panels that composed it.  At night, the works were  spotlit by artificial lighting, and during the day, The Urchins relied on  natural light to cast ephemeral, ever-changing shadows.

Photo © 2017 CHOI+SHINE


The iLight Marina Bay Festival in Singapore has been held since 2010, and showcases light art installations created by artists from Singapore and around the world. Installed around the Marina Bay waterfront, the light art installations are designed with energy-saving lighting or environmentally-friendly materials to reinforce Marina Bay’s position as a sustainable precinct, and to encourage people to adopt sustainable habits in their lives.

This year’s festival featured light art installations from nine countries, including Indonesia, France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and for the first time, the festival collaborated with overseas light art festivals – Amsterdam Light Festival in The Netherlands, Bella Skyway Festival in Poland and Scottsdale Canal Convergence in the United States – through the cross-sharing of four local and international light art installations.

Emphasizing the message of sustainability were 20 light art installations with the theme “Light & Nature”, demonstrating the relationship of light with nature and the city, and how light reconciles the push and pull between the constructed and the natural.


Photo © 2017 CHOI+SHINE


Choi+Shine, the creator of The Urchins,  is a nationally and internationally awarded architecture and design studio run by two principals, Jin Choi and Thomas Shine.

Ms. Choi received her first Master’s Degree in Architectural Art, while running her own design studio in Seoul, Korea. She was recently selected as one of Korea’s Global Young Architects by the Korean Institute of Architects, and she is an adjunct faculty at Suffolk University teaching design studio and thesis studio to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Mr. Shine is a registered architect in both US and UK and received his undergraduate and Master’s Degree in architecture from Yale University’s School of Architecture. Mr. Shine was a teaching fellow at Yale, teaching architectural structures to both graduate and undergraduate students.

At night, the mysteriously hovering and glowing large Urchins created a sense of magic as if time had stopped.  Entering into the Urchins, the viewers were surrounded by a single layer of glowing, lacy surface, where they could enoy the detail and texture of the Urchins and see the city, water and the sky through this visual filter.  With its  large size, creating the artwork was a challenge. Hand-crafting the shells required nearly 3 months to create, by a team of 50 artists.

Choi+Shine was also one of the participants in the Amsterdam Light Festival last year, their installation was Lace,

Photo © 2016 CHOI+SHINE

 This year, the Singapore festival featured five light art installations designed by students from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore University of Technology and Design, LASALLE College of the Arts and Raffles College of Higher Education – the highest participation from local educational institutions to date.

One of the festival hubs, The Fantastical World of organised by The Rice Company Ltd, promoted sustainable living in Singapore with highlights such as a recycling and upcycling marketplace, a kinetic energy playground and an urban farming showcase


More images and information on the project is available at:


Photo © 2017 CHOI+SHINE

Additional Information about The Urchins:

Design: Jin Choi and Thomas Shine

Steel Fabrication : Modern Metal Solutions 

Assembly Crew in Boston: Thomas Shine, Susie Kim , Myungsu Ko, Yeseul Choi, Isabelle Lippincott, Hyokyung Lee

Installation Crew in Singapore: Thomas Shine, Jin Choi, Young-eun Choi, Jaekyu Lee, SoYeung Ko, XiaoMin, Hyosoo Lee

Structural Consultant:  Árni Björn Jónasson, ARA Engineering

Installation Support: iLight Marina Bay