Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Still on a break

GOOD MORNING CATS!, originally uploaded by jonolist.

heh heh

Friday, November 27, 2009

Split House @ Still Road

Split House @ Still Road #1

Split House @ Still Road #2
Split House @ Still Road

URA Conservation Plan (source: URA)

I came across this house while scouting for a site for my thesis project. And interestingly, to me, this split house was a jarring evidence that showed the 'insensitive' imposition of infrastructural plans on existing urban fabric.

A lil background information on the house (the information I gathered is as of now, not substantiated):
The Grand Hotel, aptly named, was built in 1920 in Victorian and pseudo-high renaissance architectural styles. Before becoming a hotel, it was one of the grandest private houses on the road. Owned by an Indian cattle merchant Moona Kadir Sultan, it was also called Karikal Mahal after its owner's birth town. It was converted into a hotel in 1947 and still stands in its almost original form. When Still Road was constructed in 1973, the house was split into 2 portions. Somewhere in 2000, the Grand Hotel was closed down due to poor business and since then, it has been abandoned. In early 2009, half of the house was gazetted a conservation area.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

of SIT flats

Remember the dissertation that I was working on with regards to the SIT flats? See
Of Charm, Rereading SIT flats & of SIT flats @ Chinatown, I manged to comb through the archive and found some interesting newspaper clippings of the 40s, 50s, and 60s that suggest some tangential readings of its history.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Lost World

Thanks Darryl for your kind contribution. =)

One of the unique qualities of Dempsey is its state of transition. You've got high-end lifestyle destinations atop the hill and yet untouched history in the surrounding environs of Harding Road, Loewen Road and Ridley Park. No doubt a very idyllic setting for that occasional tea for two, it also makes good fodder for contemplative walks alone. I chanced upon this beauty while waiting for church to start last Sunday. Having explored the old barracks along Loewen Road, on impulse, I veered off the main road, trekked through a clearing and there she was.

My heart skipped a beat.

Tucked away amid dense tropical jungle, you do get the palpable sense of crossing over into another time stream; a real-life 'Bridge to Terabithia' encounter, right down to the threshold of having to cross a waterway, in this instance, a storm-drain.

The architecture stems from two periods, the consulate buildings at the front of the complex look old enough to be pre-war, whilst the newer extension at the back recall the sincere RC experiments of the 1970s. Its construction is simple and clearly expressed - utilising an age old strategy of extending the beams beyond the floor slabs thereby achieving a tectonic quality of one thing supporting another and a visual language of horizontal and vertical linearity. Closer inspection of the individual rooms reveals a sensitivity to climate and affordance. Each room is bestowed with an enchanting view of the surrounding green through sliding windows that reach from a cill height of about 600mm to the ceiling, thus creating the impression of a room enclosed by three walls and fully opened on one side - another strategy known as 'prospect', as termed by Glenn Murcutt. Even rainwater disposal gets accorded attention - a rectilinear protrusion breaks the horizontality of the roof slab and connects to a hollow square section pipe, similar in profile as the railings though of understandably larger dimensions, which then proceeds to decant rainwater into a receiving RC trough on the ground floor.

As much as the building has been lost to the onslaught of the jungle, so too has the architectural heritage that first gave it form. It is a masterful work that combines clear-headed planning, collected concrete construction, climate, comfort and controlled composition - qualities that defined the age of Peter Blundell Jones, Sonny Chan Sau Yan and Geoffrey Bawa, when schools still trained competent architects who could call the shots and inspire confidence in their clients.

To the unknown ancestor who crafted this gentle beast, I tip my hat to you.

of SIT flats @ Chinatown

"– I was asked to return to my cell. The cell was very small and there were 13 persons inside it. The room was wet, and everybody was wet inside; urine was on the floor all over. "
- witness account from war trial prosecution

SIT @ Smith Street
SIT flats @ Smith Street

Do you see the resemblance to the pre-war SIT flats that still fondly stand in Tiong Bahru? These SIT flats at New Bridge Road were built in 1938 and demolished in 1975 as the Kreta Ayer Centre was being built. During the period of the Japanese Occupation, it was temporarily converted to the Kempetai West District Branch, a house became a place of torture.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chin Mei Chin Confectionery

Chin Mei Chin Confectionery was founded in 1925 by a Hainanese family and is now run by its second generation boss who was the founder's son. They serve old school nostalgia in the form of sock pulled coffee (best ever), kaya butter buns (heavenly) and softboil eggs which don't really need brackets cuz their TODIEFOR!



Gotta love the patterning deco which was really the in thing back in the past and is receiving a retro comeback everywhere these days.


Chin Mei Chin Confectionery


and now to end with some of the nomnoms!

Soft boiled eggs
Soft Boiled Eggs

Kaya Butter Buns

Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze

go visit Chin Mei Chin at 204 East Coast Road, its just opposite Church of The Holy Family in Katong.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

25 Grange Road

Sneaked into (trespassing is such an ugly word) an abandoned lot in the middle of the city and saw these two beautiful art deco houses.

25 Grange Road

25 Grange Road

25 Grange Road

Built in the 1930s and abandoned by the 1970s, these two units at 25 Grange Road, off Orchard are loaded with stories of hauntings and myth but seriously after i peeked in, it just looks like a really misunderstood beautiful place that needs some serious refurbishment.

25 Grange Road

25 Grange Road

25 Grange Road

One lot is now occupied by construction workers who work in current developments surrounding the premis , possibly an illegal squatter, i'm not too sure. Tarnished by poor maintenance, weathering and vandalism, these houses need looking after. Now if only i was rich enough to buy it and convert it into an arts school.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rereading SIT flats

SIT flats @ Tiong Bahru
Pre-war SIT flats

I went back to have a walk around this estate and to my horror, paint jobs were given to the predominant orange stairs (see previous post) that stood as icons to the estate! Somehow, it makes reading of the flats a lil more different, more subdued. I wonder what was the decision behind this. Well apparently these were the original colours of the colonial scheme.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Of Charm

“Charm is more than just beauty.” - Proverb

SIT prewar flats
Tiong Bahru SIT Prewar Flats

“For all that passes, passes by the stiars,
and all that comes, comes by the stairs;
letters, announcements of births, marriages, and deaths, furniture brought in or taken out by removers, t
he doctor called in an emergency,
the traveller returning from a long voyage.
It’s because of that that the staircase remains
an anonymous, cold, and almost hostile place.”
- George Perec

I think I'll head down to this quaint place again and perhaps discover the nuances that render this place charming. I can't wait for the hols to explore explore!
Anyone that knows anything about this place being a "den of beauties" please drop me a message here.