Under plans from a group of designers, led by the architect Moshe Safdie, known for Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands resort, Project Jewel will occupy an area of 3.5ha (30,500sqm) by Terminal 1.
The design includes check-in counters, a lush garden and a waterfall descending from the glass and steel structure’s roof.
Replacing an open-air car park, the complex is expected to be ready by 2018.
Changi Airport Group (CAG) is working on the concept with CapitaMalls Asia, one of Asia’s largest listed shopping centre developers.
CAG and CapitaMalls are expected to announce a joint-venture partnership by the end of 2013.
A key goal for Project Jewel is to cater for transfer passengers, an airport spokesperson told Airport World.
“Easily 30% of passengers at Changi are not visiting Singapore, and many people have long layovers of 10 or 12 hours,” said the spokesperson.
But the new complex is also expected to draw tourists and residents.
“A lot of people already come to the airport even if they are not travelling and the retail at the new complex will require local support,” said the spokesperson.
Walkways will link the new complex with terminals.
Project Jewel may also provide a central facility for the 32,000 people based at the airport.
In combination with work on Terminal 4, due to complete by 2017, Project Jewel will raise Changi’s handling capacity up to 85 million passengers a year, said CAG.
Lee Seow Hiang, CAG’s CEO, said the project would help Changi compete with other airports.
“With Project Jewel, we are pleased to be developing an exciting product that will swing travellers to choose Changi Airport, and Singapore,” he said.