Tuesday, September 20

Stunning Singapore Shophouses

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I have a soft corner for small urban buildings, specially the row house typology that includes the shophouse, townhouse, Brownstone and terraced houses. These tightly packed buildings add so much character to urban areas. They tell us about the history of a neighbourhood and how people lived in the past. One of my favourite activities is walking along streets in Cambridge such as Oxford and Richmond Road, which have beautiful old terraced houses. If I just ignore the rows of parked cars, I can almost make myself believe that I am back in the 1880’s. With lace curtains fluttering from the windows and a woman sweeping her tiled walkway. 

These remind me of the shophouses in Singapore, which are heritage buildings from the 19th and early 20th century. They are typically narrow, two or three stories high and characterized by intricate arches and use of pastel colors on their facades. Originally, the shophouse had a work space on the ground floor and residential quarters on the upper levels. The ones that exist in Singapore can be found in areas such as Chinatown, Kampong Glam, Emerald Hill and Little India. Some of these have been lovingly restored and converted into modern residences. Here have a look at a selection of five houses designed by one of South-East Asia's leading architectural firms ONG&ONG

31 Blair Road

55 Blair Road 

59 Blair Road

149, Neil Road

Project R

All images via ONG&ONG

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