The new Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 (T4) has become a destination in itself after its opening in October 2017. Besides being the latest gateway in and out of Singapore for international travellers, this latest terminal is also a showpiece of innovation. Designed with the concept of Fast And Seamless Travel at Changi (FAST@Changi), it boasts a bevy of automated features to make travelling procedures less of a hassle. However, with the reduced human contact, the need to create interiors which are warm and welcoming becomes even more crucial.
“Our client, the Changi Airport Group, gave us a brief for a fun, vibrant and positively surprising airport terminal. With a high degree of automation in terms of check-in and immigration functions, we also needed to create interiors which softened the feel of the new terminal. The interior architecture is simple and elegant, creating a seamless and stress-free environment for passengers using T4,” says its project director Toh Kok Kin, also the deputy managing director of local firm SAA Architects.
Working with a multi-disciplinary team of international consultants, Kok Kin put in place a neutral, earthy palette of materials and colours. This included an extensive use of tiles, which together with the other materials used, were chosen for their “performance, aesthetics, ease of maintenance and value. Each material was assessed based on its functional and aesthetic qualities in the various areas they were used,” explains Kok Kin.
RICE is proud to have provided the tiles for T4, and contributed towards the vision of SAA Architects.
For walls, natural stone as well as stone-inspired tiles were selected for their earthy hues and organic textures. In the departure area, the Travertino marble used on the lower part of the wall segues into similar Travertino-inspired tiles from Casalgrande on the upper areas.
The soothing sight of the Pietra Di Chantillonnais tiles from Edilgres along the walkway of the transit area upon arrival is a balm to the senses, especially for those who have had a long and restless flight. The tiles’ warm natural colours were inspired by a limestone found in the Burgundy region of France. Various tile sizes were specified to create additional visual texture.
An asymmetrical patchwork of Buxstone tiles from Panaria in light and dark organic hues such as Almond, Shell and Clay can be seen throughout the baggage claim area and the public areas of the arrival hall. On its design, Kok Kin says, “Upon arrival from a long haul flight, passengers need to be in a calm but not dull environment. So the tile pattern designed for the arrival hall is both a robust floor surface that also has finesse in its design language to be interesting and welcoming”.
For visual continuity between the indoor and outdoor areas, the area next to the coach stand features the same Panaria Buxstone tile for its flooring, but in creamy Shell. However, the difference is that these tiles have a higher slip resistance of R10, as compared to the slip resistance of R9 for the tiles used indoors. This is to enhance safety in wet weather.
Similarly, the Panaria Buxstone Clay tiles with a slip resistance of R10 can be seen in the external arrival driveway on level one.
Explore how tiles can meet both style and functional needs for residential and commercial projects at RICE. Make an appointment to visit riceLAB by emailing them here or by calling 6692 1199. riceLAB is at 213 Henderson Road 01.03 Singapore 159553. They are open from Mondays to Fridays 10am to 7pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 6pm.
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