Designs in Changi Airport that WOW

Apr 2023

By Ng Hui Hui


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As passengers enter the revamped departure transit hall at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 (T1), they are immediately greeted by a sight that is strikingly new, yet familiar, at the same time.  

Familiar in that they will be drawn immediately to the vibrancy of the diverse passenger mix and brands that is often seen in Changi Airport. New in that the area also exudes a feeling of calm that is unlike a transit hall of a busy airport.    

The revamped central piazza in T1’s departure transit hall exudes a serenity that is akin to a hotel lobby.


The use of concentric geometry in the design of this space creates a radiant movement that is expressed by the carpet's pattern and highlighted by the chandelier. The green columns emerging from the ponds, coupled with the sound of flowing water amid lush vegetation, combined with the earthy tones create an oasis of peacefulness.

“The idea throughout the design process for this project was to bring a warmth that is far from the usual spirit of airports. It is closer to the way a hotel lobby would be designed, including the addition of a grand piano in the space,” said Basile Boiffils from BOIFFILS, the architect who was part of the team behind the revamp of T1 Central Piazza.


Redesigning space to enhance shops’ visibility and impact

Unknown to many, behind this serene façade lies a story of close collaboration and mutual support among CAG and its tenants.

When the concession agreement with Lotte Duty Free (Lotte) and the three new luxury brands – Dior, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co – to set up shop in T1 were inked, CAG started brainstorming and working with the partners to explore ways in which they could further enhance the shopping experience for passengers.

The idea was to organise the tenants in such a way that they would achieve maximum visibility from passengers entering the transit area. At the same time, the area would be an island of serenity that is dedicated to passengers, with the allure of an extraordinary retail experience.


Passengers entering the T1 departure transit hall are immediately greeted by the magnificence of the three luxury boutiques amid the oasis of peace.


With such meticulous planning of the space, it came as no surprise that the designs of these outlets blended in seamlessly with the architecture of T1 central piazza. For example, Louis Vuitton's store introduced a new and fresh architectural concept that is unique to the space. The large see-through facade allows more visibility and exterior light into the store, and its design comprising horizontal wavy blades in fiber glass painted with a white dichroic color, imbues a subtle and sophisticated effect. A long ribbon of LED light further animates the facade, giving the entrance the dramatic effect of a drape that is slowly being drawn up.

The revamp of T1 central piazza, completed last year, is just one of the examples of how CAG is committed to helping tenants grow their businesses. By providing a space that is both beautiful and functional, tenants are able to create an experience that goes beyond just shopping.


Close collaboration with tenants a win-win for all

Such a collaborative approach has definitely benefitted tenants and in turn, passengers, with Lotte confirming the strong support that CAG has provided since it took over the liquor and tobacco concession in June 2020.

“The partnership between Lotte and CAG has resulted in a synergetic collaboration that we greatly appreciate and value. Our focus moving forward is on enhancing the customer experience in our stores, and we are confident in our strategy to achieve this. We have implemented various new innovations and digitalisation initiatives that align with CAG's vision, and we are optimistic that our business will reach new heights. We look forward to maintaining this momentum with CAG for the ultimate value proposition that meets our shared business goal,” said Jeff Jeong, Chief Executive Officer, Lotte Travel Retail Singapore.


Held in Jewel, the inaugural World of Wines and Spirits by CAG and Lotte Duty Free featured over 200 of the finest products from more than 75 brands.


Last year, CAG also partnered Lotte to present the inaugural World of Wines and Spirits, showcasing the world’s most internationally acclaimed, exclusive and premium wines and spirits. It featured over 200 of the finest products from more than 75 brands, including first-in-the-region rarities from renowned labels such as Bowmore, The Macallan, Midleton, The Singleton and Penfolds.

Currently, 14 out of the 18 Lotte stores in Changi Airport are open. The remaining four outlets are undergoing renovation and will progressively open their doors to passengers from August 2023 onwards. This includes the T3 departure central duplex outlet, which will see a complete revamp of its store façade to maximise visual impact and visibility into both levels of the store. It is expected to be ready to welcome passengers by the end of the year. Meanwhile, CAG has been allocating key pop-up space in T3 departure to Lotte to support their business while its T3 duplex store is undergoing renovation.

Gwyn Sin, CAG’s Vice President for Airside Concessions Operations, said, “That’s just how we operate – supporting tenants in every milestone of their journey with us. Now that the pandemic has loosen its grip, we’re stepping up on initiatives and promotions to rekindle the joy of shopping and we’re glad that our tenants are working closely with us to roll out new and novel ways to surprise and delight passengers.”   

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