Changi Airport's new icon, codenamed Jewel, may be jointly developed and operated by CapitaMalls Asia.
The potential partnership was announced by both parties early Monday.
Jewel which will be built at the existing open-air carpark in front of Terminal 1 will be a world-class, signature lifestyle destination that will enable Changi Airport to capture tourism, and strongly boost Singapore's appeal as a stopover point for global travellers, Changi Airport Group said.
To be ready by 2018, the complex will offer aviation and travel-related facilities, retail offerings and leisure attractions.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who described the new facility as "something special" during his National Day Rally on Sunday said a key feature is a lush indoor garden.
It will have "a breathtaking waterfalls" Changi said.
Project Jewel is being designed to be architecturally iconic, with a stunning glass and steel façade that presents an impressive view of the complex - from both Airport Boulevard and the sky, the airport said.
The design team is being led by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie who also designed Marina Bay Sands.