SIT Flats

Tiong Bahru: A Glimpse into singapore‘s Rich Architectural History


Tiong Bahru is undeniably one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in Singapore. It stands as a testament to the cycle of change that this fast-evolving country has undergone over the years. Developed in the 1930s by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), the precursor of the Housing & Development Board (HDB), Tiong Bahru is one of the oldest public estates in Singapore. Its historical significance and architectural beauty make it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike.

The Art Deco Period:

The SIT flats that line Tiong Bahru and Seng Poh Roads are a beautiful testament to the Art Deco period, which was in vogue during the 1930s. These flats exhibit a unique blend of long horizontal lines, smoothly-curved corners, external spiral staircases, flat rooftops, and round porthole windows in stairwells. The attention to detail in the architecture of these flats is truly remarkable and serves as a reminder of the rich history of Singapore’s public housing.

Preservation Efforts:

In 2003, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) granted conservation status to 20 blocks of flats in the Tiong Bahru estate. This decision was a significant turning point for the neighborhood, as it ensured the preservation of its architectural heritage. Today, Tiong Bahru is a vibrant and dynamic area, with chic cafes, boutiques, and restaurants occupying the preserved spaces. The combination of its rich heritage and charming lifestyle options has made it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Exploring Tiong Bahru:

When visiting Tiong Bahru, there are several must-see attractions that highlight the neighborhood’s unique charm and history. One of the most iconic landmarks is the Tiong Bahru Market. This bustling hawker center offers a wide array of local delicacies, allowing visitors to indulge in the flavors of Singapore. The market is also surrounded by shops selling traditional snacks, fresh produce, and handmade crafts.

Another notable attraction is the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail, which takes visitors on a journey through the neighborhood’s history. The trail showcases the distinctive architecture of the SIT flats, as well as other historical landmarks such as the Qi Tian Gong Temple and the Tiong Bahru Community Centre. Exploring the heritage trail provides a deeper understanding of the neighborhood’s evolution over the years.

For those interested in learning more about Singapore’s public housing, a visit to the Housing & Development Board’s LIVINGSPACE Gallery is highly recommended. Located at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh, this gallery offers a comprehensive overview of the evolution of public housing in Singapore. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits and gain insights into the planning, design, and development of HDB flats throughout the years.


Tiong Bahru is a neighborhood that encapsulates the rich history and architectural beauty of Singapore. Its Art Deco flats, preserved spaces, and charming lifestyle options make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the city-state’s cultural heritage. From its attention to detail in architecture to its vibrant food scene and historical landmarks, Tiong Bahru offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the cultural fabric of Singapore, Tiong Bahru should be at the top of your itinerary.

Address And Location:

Seng Poh Road and Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore

Seng Poh Road and Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore

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