Air and Water Show
Careful Design and Testing Phases Set the Stage for the World's Largest Indoor Waterfall
PHOTO © COURTESY OF SAFDIE ARCHITECTS
“The hydraulics are very simple, but the architecture is very, very impressive.”
—Arturo Leon, hydraulic engineer, University of Houston, to Wired
Passengers at Singapore's award-winning Changi Airport will soon have another way to enjoy layovers: stare at the Rain Vortex, a massive waterfall that will form the centerpiece of a new £726 million terminal. Once completed in 2018, it will be the tallest indoor waterfall in the world.
Water will pour through a hole in a bagel-shaped glass ceiling into a pond nine stories below. A structure this shape has never been built before, so the project team was wading into uncharted waters: “[I]t actually creates its own microclimate,” Mark Fuller, founder of WET, the water design firm behind the waterfall, told Wired. After extensive airflow studies of the glass structure, the team determined the waterfall would need to vary from a trickle to a torrent to prevent pressure buildups that would fill the terminal with mist and humidity. The team's next step was to build a full-sized prototype of a section of the waterfall's edge to accurately test the water's behavior.
40 meters (131.2 feet)
EBB AND FLOW:
Water will flow at a peak rate of 10,000 gallons (37,854 liters) per minute.
Upon completion, the Rain Vortex should stay true to its name: It will be fed with rainfall collected on the terminal's roof.
PM NETWORK DECEMBER 2016 WWW.PMI.ORG
DECEMBER 2016 PM NETWORK
PMI research shows project teams that draw from an array of perspectives and skillsets deliver powerful outcomes.