Vertical gardens and sky projection: biophilic design at Singapore Changi Airport

International architectural bureau Boiffils Architectures has completed a project for the reconstruction and expansion of one of the terminals at Singapore Changi Airport. Three-level space with an area of ​​120,000 sq. meters reimagines the airport experience through biophilic design. The concept was developed with the help of top professionals from Canada to Japan and has received Singapore’s highest environmental rating – Green Mark Gold.

“Due to our work, we constantly travel and fly. It’s usually not fun because of all the procedures required to board the plane. Contact with nature makes everything more enjoyable, so we tried to blur the boundaries between architecture and landscape, recreating the feeling of a garden indoors,” says Basile Boiffils, chief architect of Boiffils Architecture.

Singapore is recognized as the greenest city in Asia. In continuation of the trend towards sustainable development, the state launched the “Green Plan until 2030”. Based on this plan, a team of architects and designers developed the concept of a “gateway” to the garden city of the 21st century. The architects moved away from traditional airport design, where efficiency was a priority. In their project, they focused only on the comfort of passengers in order to reduce stress from transit or flight. The vegetation and water features in the terminal create a relaxed, multi-sensory environment that directly impacts the human experience. Orderly registration areas blend seamlessly with walls covered with plants. And lines in design promote calmer thinking. The complex ceiling design hides technical elements and creates a serene atmosphere.

“Usually, when we enter an airport, we are immediately confronted with a fairly high noise level. I believe the way we have designed the space creates a calmer atmosphere and a more relaxed attitude for people to travel in this terminal. This is felt immediately at the entrance, where the ambient noise level is significantly lower than at other airports,” explains the architect Boiffils Architectures.

The vegetation and landscape work was carried out in collaboration with Patrick Blanc. The idea was to create a large pond in the center of the transit area. “The acrylic platform makes it look like you’re walking on water. And to increase the comfort of passengers and reduce their sense of disorientation after long flights, we installed a projection screen on the ceiling, which displays an image of the sky in real time,” comments the architect.

In collaboration with Moment Factory, the project combined technology and nature. “Waterfall of Miracles” appeared in the airport space – a digital image of a 14-meter waterfall. The southern garden of the transit zone is equipped with an LED ceiling that broadcasts weather conditions outside. And tropical sounds create a calming environment for passengers during transfers. A facial recognition system also works – this reduces waiting time and simplifies the circulation of people.

The project team also paid special attention to the choice of materials and colors. All rooms are made of natural materials. The palette includes five to six tones close to natural shades. “We were looking for furniture with organic shapes that would fit well into this project. We settled on Arper products, which suit us perfectly and at the same time combine with each other,” continues the architect Boiffils Architectures.

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