Global architecture firms Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and Heatherwick Studio have won a bid to design the next major extension for Singapore’s Changi Airport, the sixth-busiest air hub in the world.
The two firms along with Singapore’s Architects 61 were selected by the airport’s operator, Changi Airport Group, to provide architectural design services for the 1,000-hectare Terminal 5, which is slated for completion by 2030. The new terminal will nearly double the size of the city-state’s main airport and add an initial capacity of up to 50 million passengers per year to Singapore’s major point of entry. Changi Airport clocked more than 62 million passengers in 2017.
“KPF and Heatherwick Studio, together with Architects 61, are excited to announce our collaboration for the design of the world’s most significant aviation project,” said James von Klemperer, president of Kohn Pedersen Fox in a statement. He added that, “We’re proud to be working with Changi Airport Group to deliver a terminal that will redefine the way we experience air travel, and provide a new, dynamic gateway to Singapore.”
The new facility is expected to open at a time when Changi Airport will need more capacity to handle growing passenger traffic, following the opening of Benoy-designed Terminal 4 last October, which will accommodate up to 16 million travellers per year.
Singapore Assembles Team for “Unprecedented” Terminal
As design partners, KPF, Heatherwick Studio and Architects 61 are teaming up with an array of specialists including design consultants, engineering firms, and aviation experts to deliver the complex project, from the main and satellite terminal buildings to the ground transportation centre.
Singaporean government-held Changi Airport group selected Arup, Mott MacDonald and Surbana Jurong Consultants for the engineering works, while DP Architects will design commercial spaces within the terminal. The three engineering firms will also work with Changi Airport Planners and Engineers on the separate master civil engineering contract for infrastructure outside the Terminal 5 buildings.
“The scale and ambition of the project is unprecedented,” said Stuart Wood, group leader of Heatherwick Studio, describing the terminal design project as “the most challenging opportunity Heatherwick Studio has ever undertaken.”
Wood added in the statement that the duo would create a terminal “that inspires at every scale from mega infrastructure, aviation, transit, retail, leisure and culture through to the tiniest detail. Our hope is to make Terminal 5 the most homely and, at the same time, most spectacular airport in the world for many years to come.”
Global Design Firms Score Another Asian Mega-Project
New York-based KPF has a 40-year track record of infrastructure and urban projects, including major aviation works such as the $2.94 billion Midfield Terminal Complex under construction at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
KPF’s projects in Asia include the iconic Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district; the International Commerce Centre mega-project in Hong Kong; and the 24,000 square metre Robinson Tower, a commercial redevelopment project at Market Street and Robinson Road in Singapore.
Headquartered in London, Heatherwick Studio is currently working on 30 projects worldwide, including new headquarters for Google in Silicon Valley and London. The design shop teamed up with Foster + Partners on the master plan for the Bund Finance Centre, a 420,000 square metre mixed-use complex in Shanghai’s Huangpu district, and in Singapore the studio designed a new campus for Nanyang Technological University.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to break away from the sterility and soullessness we’ve come to expect from typical airport environments,” commented Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio in the statement on the Terminal 5 win.