Connect@Changi, the world's first purpose-built short-stay facility designed to support safe business exchanges, is a demonstration of Surbana Jurong’s ability to design and construct the project within a tight time frame with agility, imagination and singularity of purpose.
Offering an integrated ‘test-stay-work-meet’ experience for inbound business travelers, Connect@Changi aims to support the progressive reopening of Singapore’s borders and spur business and economic activities, while safeguarding the local community from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surbana Jurong is part of a consortium developing the project. Led by Temasek, the consortium also other includes The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare Group, and SingEx-Sphere Holdings.
The initial phase consists of around 660 guest rooms and 170 meeting rooms. When fully completed, the facility will have the potential capacity to host some 1,300 business travellers at any one time. Amenities include indoor courtyards designed with park-like settings, self-service vending machines, and 24/7 Gym Pods.
To reduce the risk of transmission, the entrances, exits and air-conditioning units for guests and local visitors at Connect@Changi are kept separate. Air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems were carefully designed for a safer airflow path. The self-service rooms feature airtight floor-to-ceiling glass panels to minimise the risk of virus transmission between guests and Singapore-based visitors.
As Connect@Changi is housed in the Singapore EXPO exhibition halls, preserving the flooring was one of the factors that Surbana Jurong had to keep in mind when planning and designing the facility. To ensure this, Surbana Jurong built the rooms using the Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) method, where prefabricated modules are wheeled inside the halls using elevated rails, and stacked up to build the two-storey facility. By raising the rooms above the exhibition floor level, the team eliminated the need for drilling into the ground to lay pipes.
Such a modular construction method also means that the facility can be assembled and dismantled quickly within a short period of time. Conventionally, a facility of such size would take three years to complete, but the project team completed the first phase in 14 weeks.
SJ CityGlobal, Surbana Jurong’s development management arm, was also involved to work with partners on translating operational needs of multiple stakeholders into clear design parameters. The project was conceived amidst a highly dynamic context with the evolving nature of the pandemic in mind, as Singapore reopens air travel and prepares for an important sector of its economy to bounce back from the pandemic.
Photo credits: Connect@Changi