Tiffany Façade Singapore Changi

MVRDV designs coral-inspired 3D-printed façade using recycled ocean plastic for Tiffany & Co. store in Singapore’s Changi Airport

The Tiffany & Co. store in Singapore’s Changi Airport has opened with a sustainable façade designed by MVRDV

Curated by Aline Chahine | 
October 13, 2023
| Est. Reading: 2 minutes

Situated in the Piazza Garden of the airport, adjacent to Moshe Safdie's Jewel Changi, the store showcases a unique façade underscoring the House's dedication to sustainability. The distinctive coral-inspired screen is 3D printed using recycled plastic, with support from the Amsterdam-based company Aectual and Milan-based engineers BUROMILAN.

Tiffany Façade Singapore Changi
The local environment and Singapore's coral reefs are a thematic anchor.

In developing the design, MVRDV identified a series of distinctive design characteristics that would speak to Tiffany’s identity and history, ranging from touches of Tiffany Blue® to the use of innovative materials, inspired by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s contributions to the world of glass art during the late 19th century. Also drawing from Tiffany’s design legacy are nods to flora and fauna throughout the store.

Tiffany Façade Singapore Changi
The 50mm-thick-screen uses recycled plastic, including reclaimed and recycled fishing nets.

MVRDV’s designers looked to the local environment and Singapore’s coral reefs for a thematic anchor. Using the patterns seen in coral species as a guide, the team designed a screen to cover the store’s façade with an organic, cell-like pattern. This screen foregrounds a layer of glass that was screen printed with a colour gradient, transitioning from Tiffany’s signature robin’s-egg blue to a deep blue that references Singapore’s ocean setting. The technology taskforce at MVRDV NEXT helped to refine the pattern of the coral-inspired screen, developing scripts to make sure the design could withstand various stresses.

Tiffany Façade Singapore Changi

The next step in the innovation was in the materials used. 3D printing experts Aectual developed a process to produce the 50-millimetre-thick screen using recycled plastic, including reclaimed and recycled fishing nets. By making use of this unusual source of recycled plastic, the design not only draws inspiration from the oceans, but also plays a part in protecting them.

Tiffany Façade Singapore Changi
The colour gradient transitions from Tiffany's signature robin's-egg blue to a deep ocean blue.

A particularly challenging task was to meet the stringent regulations for fire safety required in an airport; here, BUROMILAN solved the issue by adding a chemical to the mixture that is also manufactured using seawater.

Tiffany Façade Singapore Changi

The gradient of light and dark blue returns in the 3D-printed portion of the design, in multiple ways: around the store’s entrances, the screen is light blue at the front and dark blue at the back; this gradient is reversed in the very corners of the façade, with a gradual transition in between – a gradient in all three dimensions.

Project Info:

Project Name: Tiffany Façade Singapore Changi
Location: Changi, Singapore
Year: 2023
Client: Tiffany & Co.
Size and Programme: 142 m2, retail façade

Project Credits:

Architect: MVRDV
Founding Partner in charge: Jacob van Rijs
Partner: Fokke Moerel
Design team: Jacob van Rijs, Fokke Moerel, Aser Gimenez Ortega, Elien Deceuninck, Simone Costa, Monica Di Salvo, Xiaoyi Qin, Natalia Lipczuk, Yayun Liu, Jaka Korla
Copyright: MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries


Contractor: Grandwork
Coral in recycled fishnet material: Aectual B.V.
Lighting designer: Cooley Monato Studio
Engineering advisor: BUROMILAN - Milan Ingegneria S.p.A.
Glass with gradient print: DDG Glass Pte Ltd
Photography: Courtesy of Tiffany&Co.

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