T5 will be a resilient and sustainable terminal that leverages technology to enhance passenger experience and increase productivity. Credit: Changi Airport Group.

T5 is located within the 1,080-hectare Changi East development site and will be built in phases to handle about 50 million passenger movements per year when completed. Credit: Changi Airport Group.

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Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Emphasizes Changi Airport’s Ambitious Plans for Terminal 5

Addressing the nation during his annual National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee spoke about Singapore’s decision to press ahead with Changi Airport’s T5 development.

Today, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore delivered an update on Changi Airport’s plans for Terminal 5 (T5). Jointly designed by KPF and Heatherwick Studio, the terminal will be a bold re-imagination of the airport paradigm and increase capacity by about 50 million passengers per year to what is already one of the busiest and most celebrated international airports in the world.

“Our design for Terminal 5 is inspired by Singapore’s unique blend of nature and city,” said Trent Tesch, KPF Design Principal. “We are conscious of the international significance of this project, and are focused on creating not only an iconic building that is identifiably Changi Airport, but also a memorable and positive experience for travelers and the greater public.”

Terminal 5 presented the opportunity to transform conventional thinking about airport design. In this regard, the design team’s “airport as a city” concept envisioned each component as an opportunity to create a neighborhood with its own character. Rather than an immense piece of infrastructure disconnected from the city, the terminal becomes an engaging new district, one that channels the city-state’s lush, natural landscape and lively, urban scale to elevate the airport experience for both travelers and Singaporeans alike.

The magnitude of the project requires a design vision and delivery on a city scale. The collaboration between KPF and Heatherwick Studio brings together two award-winning and internationally recognized practices with extensive experience designing innovative urban spaces and specialized infrastructure projects.

Working as design partners, KPF and Heatherwick Studio are part of a Master Builder Consultants (MBC) led by KPF and Singapore-based Architects 61, which also includes sub-consultants SAA and RSP Architects Planners & Engineers. Arup Singapore Private Limited, Mott McDonald, and Surbana Jurong are providing engineering services as part of the MBC. DP Architects Pte Ltd is appointed by Changi Airport Group to provide retail design services for commercial spaces in T5.

“When completed in the mid-2030s, T5 will show the world the kind of place Singapore is…[and] will be a place that all Singaporeans can take pride in and enjoy,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. “Our decisions to press on with Changi T5…sends a strong and clear signal to the world that Singapore is emerging stronger from the pandemic, and charging full steam ahead.”

Changi Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports for international traffic, serving a pre-pandemic record of 68.3 million passengers from around the globe in 2019. Since the last quarter of 2021, with the relaxation of quarantine and testing requirements, passenger traffic at Changi Airport has increased steadily and reached 55% of pre-pandemic levels in July 2022.

For KPF, Terminal 5 is the natural progression of a 46-year history of delivering infrastructure and urban projects of international significance. The firm’s airport experience includes major terminals across the world, such as the Midfield Terminal Complex at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, Nanning International Airport in China, and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York State. The firm has gleaned its deep understanding of culture and community through the design of vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods and urban centers such as Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, Hudson Yards in New York City, Google Downtown West in San Jose, and Victoria Dockside in Hong Kong, as well as through mixed-use and transit-connected developments such as One Vanderbilt in New York, CITIC Tower in Beijng, and Lotte World Tower in Seoul. KPF leveraged its sustainability acumen, including cutting-edge projects such as the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Guangzhou, which is nearly complete, 18 Robinson in Singapore, and Burrard Exchange in Vancouver, one of North America’s tallest timber buildings.

To watch the Prime Minister’s full address, please click here.