TIONG BAHRU – the Estate

Built in the 1930s, Tiong Bahru Estate is one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore. It was the first project undertaken by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), a government body administered by the British colonial authority, to provide for mass public housing in Singapore. The estate consists of about 30 apartment blocks with a total of over 900 units. The apartment blocks are made up of two to five-storey flats and the units are assorted three to five-room apartments.

The construction style of the estate is a mix of art deco and local Straits Settlements shop-house architecture. The flats feature rounded balconies, flat rooftops, spiral staircases, light wells and underground storage and shelters. One notable feature of Tiong Bahru estate is that all its streets are named after Chinese pioneers of the 19th and early 20th centuries (Lim Liak, Kim Pong, Guan Chuan, Chay Yan, etc.). The estate was given conservation status on 1 December 2003.

Tiong Bahru is also very famous for the quality and range of the local food fare. In particular, Tiong Bahru market boasts some of the best hawker stalls in Singapore that tops the country’s eatery charts regularly. It is not uncommon for people living in other parts of Singapore to come all the way to Tiong Bahru to enjoy a simple meal of Char siew rice, stir-fried prawn noodles, and other local culinary delights. In a city-state abound with food courts, hawker centers and other eateries, this bears testament to the delectability and popularity of the food in Tiong Bahru.

Find out more about the estate’s history and its residents here.

All pics, thanks to Tiong Bahru resident John Common.

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