Changi Terminal 2 – Back for the Future: recovered memories for a new airport

Home / Programme / Bachelor of Science (ASD) / Courses / 20.112 Sustainable Design Option Studio 2 / Changi Terminal 2 – Back for the Future: recovered memories for a new airport

Studio Instructors

Sam Conrad Joyce

Studio Collaborators

Chloe Wong – Changi Airport Group
Esther Wong – Changi Airport Group
Eugene Kosgoron – Super Studio
Stefan Tuchen – SUTD

Studio Description

Our memory of a place is made by our journey through it. When journeys are repeated it builds a sense of place, of familiarity. Our project explores memory, experience, place making and travel,
through physical, digital, and experiential means.

Airports represent a unique type of architecture and a highly performative space, a typology that is closely coupled with the transportation technology which the building integrates so that thousands of daily users may transition from city to plane, negotiating a carefully curated space designed to process people through a complex choreography of practical, legal, safety, and recreational activities. More recently, airports have begun to focus on passenger wellness, on entertainment, and unique place making.

Changi is a global leader in airport experience—having won numerous awards. Famous for comfortable and seamless travel, the airport achieved its reputation by means of an ethos of providing and carefully integrating spaces that pre-empt the type of actives that users desire at any given point along their journey. This strive of has resulted in constantly evolving terminal buildings to maintain service levels and keep up with latest traveller needs.

For this studio, we are collaborating with the Changi Airport Group terminal development group on a real-world adaptive reuse project for the newly renovated Terminal 2, on a site chosen by them. This project will consist of a reusable design intervention to bring the theme of memory and sustainability into a new transit waiting room space. Made with a range of reclaimed materials from the original Terminal 2 building. The intervention’s function and goals will be developed within the studio but is focused on developing a point of design interest through exploring ideas around the development of Changi Airport specifically the previous Terminal 2. During the process, we may also consider relaxation/wellness issues, travel data, and more.

The program will explore the user experience journeys in an airport and how architecture has devised ways to help and mange them: especially using non-direct cues such as changes in scale, materials, light, sound to positively ‘nudge’ passengers’ behaviour. Researching airport development and Changi itself to appreciate the typology, whilst being open to what we can learn and apply more broadly in architectural practice, will be incorporated via a collaboration with experts in this field including Lucienne Blessing and Stefan Tuchen. We also explore digital and social science methods of observing and analysing the users of the space, so we can generate and apply data driven design.

Studio Objectives & Expectations

We will be physically making a prototype of the proposed physical intervention along with detailed fabrication drawings with the end goal that this will test and validate our design and will determine the final design(s) that will become part of the new T2 building after being professionally fabricated. We will be aided by Eugene Kosgoron a digital fabrication expert from Super Studio. The intervention could be a single piece or collection of structures and/or furniture that transform a regular airport space into something new. These interventions will be of an interior scale but are not currently constrained. So early on we will be exploring diverse possibilities and tuning these against our perception of travellers needs and regular meetings with CAG. It is the goal that these pieces embrace the idea of up-cycling; making use of the reclaimed materials given to use, engaging with their historic past in the original T2, and creating a special experience in the landscape of the airport.

For this studio we will be developing deep research on current and future design and theory of transport building typologies focusing on airports. Then new approaches to urban furniture, space making, and new high tec approaches to up-cycling. These will be compiled into a research report that will act as the basis of the designs. We will carry out or project with CAG as our client, and go through an rapid version of the typical: Strategy, Brief, Concept, Scheme and Detail Design process with them. Working collectively to build up knowledge, presenting options, which with feedback will be refined into the final proposed design pieces.

Visual Inspiration

Changi Terminal 2 – Back for the Future

3D Printed Scupture Zaha, Recyclable Pavilion SelgasCano, Recycled Planters SelgasCano, Airport Seating Foster + Partners, People Flow Distance Modelling Arup


Week 1 – Introduction
Explanation of project, aims,
Outline of relevant research
Reading – Beijing Airport Foster
Reading – Soft Architecture Machines
Watching – The Secret Life of Urban Spaces William H. Whyte
Week 2 – Ideation + Option Exploration
Presentation from CAG on the project and the Airport
Presentation from Stefan Tuchen on airport usability and design
Explanation of Super Linier (with voting) approach
Reading – Nudge Theory
Reading – Airports for the Present Zdenko Strizic
Reading – The DisOrdinary Architecture Project: : A Reader Jos Boys
Week 3 – Idea Development + Fabrication Intro
Presentation from Eugene Kosgoron on new methods of fabrication + reusability
Site Visit Jewel, Terminal 3
Reading – Lightness: The Inevitable Renaissance of Minimum Energy Structures
Week 4 – Initial Prototype
Presentation from Bianchi Dy on aviation analytics
Reading – Bench Mark Civic Data Design Lab
Reading – Street Fight
Week 5 – Digital/Systems Prototype
Presentation SUTD Alum Gee Yang
Reading – Towards and Evolutionary Architecture
Reading – The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask
Week 6 – Full scale Fabrication Intro
Reading – Never Built Los Angeles
Week 7 – Mid Term Break
Week 8 – Midterm Review
With CAG
Design Development + Fabrication
Week 9 – Larger Scale Digital Fabrication Planning
Reading – Never Built Los Angeles
Week 10 – Larger Scale Design Exploration
Week 11 – Penultimate Review
Week 12 – Full Scale Making Time
Week 13 – Final Review
With CAG