Connecting the three terminals at Singapore’s Changi Airport, Jewel provides an evergreen landscape and a gateway to the rest of the world.
From the outside Jewel, as its name suggests, looks like a large, polished gemstone. Inside, however, it resembles a giant greenhouse – housing thousands of trees, palms, and shrubs which surround the world's tallest indoor waterfall. In addition to the greenery, shops, restaurants, and a hotel are spread across ten floors and 135,700 square meters – all contained under the building's vast glass dome, positioned at the heart of Changi Airport's three terminals.
Shortly after plans to build the nature-themed entertainment and retail complex were announced, we were awarded the contract to install a total of 178 elevators, escalators, and moving walks – our goal being to help transport the 82 million airport visitors that pass through annually.
Our reputation in Singapore, built over decades of collaboration with local developers, played a key role in securing the project. Hugo Martinho, who laid the groundwork for the project as the local Managing Director at the time, commented: "The two teams understood each other. We're proud to have helped create this prestigious building."
Canadian-Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, who designed Jewel Changi Airport, had a very precise idea of how our units could complete the design of the project. He wanted people to be able to admire and experience the architectural wonders of Jewel from every angle. Panoramic elevators in the green spaces were the answer – a great example of our team's ability to provide bespoke solutions that help to turn an architect's vision into reality. Today, the elevators offer passengers a breathtaking panoramic view of the waterfall and fit seamlessly into the building's surroundings.
Our team had to draw on their full breadth of experience to achieve these results. But with a creative and pragmatic approach, we found a safe and practical solution to all technical and architectural challenges. For example, when our units had to be installed, the Jewel's glass dome was already in place. This meant it was impossible to use a conventional crane due to the glass structure – which would have been the normal way to fit the 58 prefabricated roller conveyer units, each weighing six tons, into the building. Instead, our team maneuvered them, one by one, through the building for nearly half a kilometer, before they could finally be raised and installed.
"For almost four years, the construction site was a source of fascinating challenges. It became my second home," says Project Manager Parthiban Sambath with a laugh. He explains how he and his team would discuss every possible option when it came to the installations. To transport the roller conveyors through the building they made use of the airport’s quietest time of day – between one and four o'clock in the morning – to ensure that the work caused minimal disruption to flight operations and visitor traffic.
After the opening, Parthiban proudly brought his wife and children to visit Jewel, to show them what had been keeping him busy for the previous few years.
All the units we installed within Jewel feature the very latest generation of our pioneering IoEE (Internet of Elevators and Escalators) platform and digital sensors. This technology continuously analyzes the data our units generate meaning they can be remotely monitored around the clock. This gives our customers complete transparency about all of their equipment, while delivering an enhanced user experience for passengers.
"With all our elevators and escalators now connected, they benefit from increased uptime, and an enhanced overall performance," says Amy Ramli, the Senior Project Engineer who was responsible for the installation and connectivity of IoEE devices at Jewel. "The future is all about connectivity!"