Guides, Tiong Bahru Guides

Architecture of Tiong Bahru

Architecture and culture (Source: Tiong Bahru, Infopedia, National Library Archives) Tiong Bahru’s SIT flats reflect a blend of imported and local styles, including Art Deco and the influence of the International style, which focused on simple, clear lines and planes. The style was prominent in Europe during that period, and SIT architects and managers took inspiration from public housing in British New Towns like Stevenage and Harlow. Architects involved in the design of Tiong Bahru estate included Lincoln Page, Robert F. N. Kan and A. G. Church. The design of the flats was based on a modified shophouse plan featuring rounded balconies, exterior spiral staircases, courtyards, and air-wells while combining privacy and aspects of a modern apartment. The layout of the estate incorporated open spaces and emphasised small neighbourhoods. The pre-war flats circled a communal zone that included a market […]

Construction

How We Built It (Part 1)

A 12 Month Labour of Love The story behind 73 Eng Watt began in May 2015 when I bought a 1930s conservation status home in Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods  – Tiong Bahru.  I managed to buy get my hands on a rare find: a ground floor corner unit which is larger than most, with more natural light as it has windows running down the entire length of the house. Only the ground floor units have the most amazing double height ceilings and two separate entrances, a front and a back door. In August 2015, I wrote a Medium post about it! Designing something big I needed an architect/designer and I only had two conditions:  I wanted someone Singaporean and I wanted someone fabulous.  And it was Glen Goei (who has three Tiong Bahru apartments) who suggested that I speak to Vince (who also lives in Tiong Bahru […]

Construction

How We Built It (Part 3)

Converting it into two apartments Only the ground floor units in Tiong Bahru have the double height ceilings and a front door and a back door. This is key because my 1700 sq ft house has been split into two separate apartments – my side comprises of a  2 bed-2 bath (1,000 sq ft+) and the Annex comprises of a 650 sq ft fully integrated open concept alcove apartment with its own separate entrance and exit.  The two apartments connect via my indoor garden.     It’s a simple concept of arbitrage – by splitting it into two, one side pays for the mortgage and the house becomes self-sustaining. Plus I save on the higher stamp duty and property taxes that come with owning a “second” property. Putting the Annex on AirBNB was a simple decision. I get higher yields by putting it on AirBNB without having to […]