KPF and Heatherwick Studio Design Singapore Airport’s Fifth Terminal as a Cluster of Neighborhoods

Heatherwick Studio and KPF have unveiled the design of the fifth terminal at Changi Airport in Singapore. It is based on the idea of an “airport as city”, which presents itself as a social extension to the Changi district at the eastern end. It is expected to accommodate 50 million passengers annually. Instead of one monolithic structure, the terminal will be made up of several social spaces that are human-centered. They offer different quality light, atmosphere and experiences to residents and visitors.

We want to redefine the airport terminal. While most airports don’t offer great places to spend your time, Changi is different. Instead of creating a monolithic structure on the outskirts a city to only be used by travelers, we plan to create a social space for all city residents. We are not interested in replicating the same airport experience all over the globe. Instead, we want to create a welcoming and humane collection of spaces that offer daylight and activity for both Singaporeans and travelers. Thomas Heatherwick

The airport is considered an integral part in the district of Changi. It channels both the natural landscape and the urban scale of the city. The 1,080-hectare Changi East development will house Terminal 5. Its design takes into account flexibility and traffic growth. As part of the design, smaller sub-terminals will be included to ensure a safe environment for all and less disease transmission.

Terminal 5 was designed to facilitate and accommodate the deployment of technology such as autonomous vehicles or baggage handling robots. These technologies will automate airport operations and improve the passenger experience. This will also empower businesses to develop new capabilities, such as robotics or artificial intelligence. It could create jobs within the airport ecosystem.

KPF and Heatherwick Studio Design Singapore Airport’s Fifth Terminal as a Cluster of Neighborhoods - Image 2 of 2

KPF and Heatherwick Studio were chosen to design the new terminal. After the Nanyang University Learning Hub, Changi T5 is Heatherwick Studio’s third Singapore project. EDEN is an apartment building located in the historic Newton District. The terminal project is also in line with KPS’s interest in infrastructure projects such as Abu Dhabi International Airport and the 5M Development downtown San Francisco.