With travel gearing towards full flight (pun intended) in 2024, Changi Airport is welcoming back Terminal 2 (T2) to the fore with a full reopening, this time ahead of schedule after a hiatus of three and a half years.
But its reopening is more than just a simple return, with T2 seeing a major visual revamp to the overall space, as well as new retail and food & beverage stores to the public and transit areas. Let’s take a closer look at what the new Terminal 2 brings!
Nestle in immersive nature through a revamped design
Greeting visitors at Changi Airport Terminal 2 is a fresh new design, with the terminal transformed into an indoor nature area. From the ceilings to the wall finishes, T2 feels as though you are walking amongst a serene forest — diverse arrays of plants adorn the columns of the terminal, providing a lush display of horticulture while exploring the space.
A key highlight of this nature-inspired look can be found at T2’s departure hall, where a 14-metre-tall digital waterfall display dubbed “The Wonderfall” is on show.
Using 892 flat and flexi-curved tiles, the showpiece is set amidst a vertical garden, with an open pathway at the base, evoking the feeling of discovering a hidden magical entrance as the display of the waters cascades over from above.
Every 30 minutes, the ‘Rhythms of Nature’ musical show is also presented on screen. Accompanied by music composed by Jean-Michel Blais, it shows the torrent switching over to moments of grandeur before returning to its tranquil flow.
There’s more to be found if you explore deeper into Terminal 2’s departure hall. The departure transit area also features a brand-new garden called “Dreamscape”, which houses an enchanting variety of plants within the space and has a pond filled with colourful cichlids and fish.
You can walk atop the pond through the transparent platform, which lends to the illusion of walking on water itself! Further bringing the garden alive is the presence of a ‘digital sky’, which changes its hues depending on the time of day.
Besides the sights, parents can head on over to 2 Bears Hideout, which is a bear and bee-themed play space for young ones to let their imaginations run wild. There’s also a space to catch sports screenings on a large television screen, so now you won’t get to miss out on your favourite football team scoring before your flight!
Older visitors will definitely remember the old-school analogue flip board, which showcased the departing flights. While now the boards are all electronic, you can relive some nostalgia by heading over to the third floor of the departure hall to visit the Flap Pix installation.
Using 1,080 split-flap capsules from one of the two decommissioned analogue boards, the installation creates cool shape art from preset choices like the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands landmarks, but you can also have a selfie taken, and it will project your silhouette on the board!
Shop and dine at the new retail and food & beverage stores
While the revamped look provides a visual feast for the eyes, T2 is also bringing in new retail and F&B stores for visitors to fill their shopping bags and tummies on their visit to the terminal.
Right within the public areas of T2, visitors will be able to find Southeast Asia’s first Funko pop-up. Here, fans can get to pose with larger-than-life Funko statues of their favourite characters alongside adding a Funko figurine to their collection — perhaps the Singapore-exclusive Merlion figure may be the next one on that list?
There’s much more to find when venturing into the departure hall, where three homegrown brands are making their debut inside Changi. Lynk Fragrances features a scent-tastic selection of products that are proudly handmade in Singapore. Meanwhile, Baker’s Well offers homely, authentic Peranakan confections for a taste of home before flying off. If you need more, there’s Café O, which features local Kopitiam fare-like unique prata flatbread among its menu items.
Also inside the departure hall is Changi Airport’s first landside duplex cafe, Jones the Grocer. The artisanal café has a grab-and-go deli-style food counter located at ground level, but opening later in the year, it will feature an upper-level bar and restaurant complete with a show kitchen.
For lovers of fine liquor, they can visit the newly opened Lotte Duty Free Wines & Spirits over in the transit area. The double-storey store has much to offer with its selection of alcohol, but visitors can also marvel at robot bartender Toni, who will be sure to showcase its mesmerising cocktail-making skills and serve some good drinks at the end.
The upper level features a luxurious lounge known as the Forest of Li Bai, where visitors can sample a range of 18 whiskey choices from the wall of dispensers while admiring the LED video ceiling. Do be sure to also take the opportunity to snap some selfies with famous K-pop artists using the smart selfie mirror that is available in the area.
Lastly, Gourmet Garden has a little bit of everything for everyone, complete with panoramic views of the planes jetting off and scenic foliage draping down from above.
Gourmet Garden’s dining hall features a wide range of options, such as the return of Hard Rock Cafe and their signatures like the Legendary Steak Burgers and Baby Back Ribs. In terms of local offerings, there’s Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice — you can’t go wrong with Singapore’s national dish after all — and The Satay Club by Harry’s, where you can satiate your satay skewer cravings alongside their renowned Harry’s Singapore Sling. Other popular names at Gourmet Garden include CRAVE Nasi Lemak and Old Chang Kee.
New facilities get you faster to your flight
Beyond the new design and stores, Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 is also set to improve the flying experience for travellers.
The terminal building has been expanded by 21,000 square metres, which will help to host the 16 airlines operating at T2, connecting to 40 destinations in total. With higher traffic expected, the facilities have been boosted to ensure that travellers get a seamless experience. For instance, the central common-use Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) zone sees the number of automated check-in kiosks and bag drop machines doubled, allowing more people to quickly check in before boarding.
The immigration halls at T2 also feature more automated immigration lanes, allowing more passengers to be served. People with disabilities and young children will also benefit from the new automated Special Assistance Lanes at both arrival and departure immigration — a first amongst Changi’s four terminals.
As I prepare for my travel plans for 2024, the new features and facilities of Changi Airport Terminal 2 are just another thing that I’ll be looking forward to when embarking on my next trip!
If you’d like to know more about what is on offer with the reopening of T2, you can head over to Changi Airport Group’s website for more information. Also, you can keep up to date with the latest happenings through their socials on Facebook and Instagram!
Visuals courtesy of Changi Airport Group.