sojourneys


Changi Airport Terminal 3 – A Preview
November 23, 2007, 4:39 pm
Filed under: airports, Changi, Changi Airport, Singapore, T3, Terminal 3

Pursuing my interest in airport design, I attended Changi Airport‘s public preview of its newly minted Terminal 3, fondly referred to as T3.  Here are some pictures I took, interspersed with interesting factoids.

T3 will officially open on Jan 9, 2008, offering a total floor area of 380,000 square meter.  T3 is a 7-storey structure with four above-ground levels and three basements.

A state-of-the-art roof incorporating some 900 skylights with butterfly-shaped reflector panels designed to adjust the amount of natural light let into the terminal creates a soothing, natural ambience while reducing energy usage.  A butterfly garden is one of the attractions that await passengers.

Glass is used extensively to create a sense of openness and space.  There will be some world firsts with its retail selection: the first official FIFA store, and the first Sony and Apple travel outlets for example.

Ten skytrains will connect T3 to T2 and T1 on a 6.5 kilometer elevated track.  T3 will also be connected to a Crown Plaza Hotel, which will be 9-storey tall with up to 350 guest rooms.

T3 will be dotted with close to 100 retail shops, 40 F&B outlets, 20 service outlets, and free Internet access kiosks.

An interesting highlight of T3 is a 5-storey high vertical garden dubbed Green Wall.  Spanning 300 meters, it spans the departure and arrival halls, and is adorned with creeper plants.

Overall, T3 was built at a cost of US$1.75 billion, and will add a capacity of 22 million passengers per year, boosting the total capacity of Changi Airport to a total of 70 million passengers.



Streets of Philadelphia

Compared to the numerous large American cities I’ve been to, I’d have to say that Philadelphia (pictures of its City Hall below) appears to be grittier than most.   Opulence is juxtaposed with poverty as the disenfranchised wander the streets a mere block away from Ritz Carlton.  

Still, it is one of the most architecturally fascinating cities, with designs dating back to the colonial times.  A friend reflected that a city’s architecture hints at the era where its money was made.  I think that is an astute observation. 

 

Philadelphia is widely regarded as the birthplace of the American Revolution and American Independence.  Indeed, the Liberty Bell is enshrined in the city, directly across Independence Hall and near the National Constitution Center in the Historic District.



Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Pennsylvania, USA
November 9, 2007, 3:28 pm
Filed under: hotels, Loews, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philly, reviews, USA

I stayed at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel for a week while attending a conference in the City of Brotherly Love.  The hotel occupies what used to be the PSFS Bank Tower, one of the first skyscrapers in the country adopting an International Style design. 

Interiors boast stones and marbles conserved from its halcyon days as a landmark of post-industrial wealth, but Loews deserves kudos for so lovingly staying true to the original art deco ethos while injecting modern sensibilities.

Service at check-in was excellent, and the front desk staff by the name of Christian is a huge asset to the hotel for his professionalism and obvious passion for his job.  He remembered my name and beamed hi every time he saw me walk across the lobby.  I was upgraded to an oversized deluxe room on the 17th floor, with an impressive view of the city.  The room was well-appointed, with a luxe bed boasting high thread count linens, and windows wrapping two walls.

Facilities meet the expectations of a business hotel, with a spacious, adequately-equipped gym with an indoor heated lap pool.  The chefs at Solefood, the hotel’s sole restaurant, take obvious pride in their culinary creations, delivering fabulous delights.  The hosts and hostesses, however, can be at times aloof.

Overall, the Loews Philadelphia offers a comfortable stay at good value if you can get a conference or special rate.  Be careful about using the phone though…every call placed outside the hotel sets you back US$0.90 right off the bat.