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Thread: Uniquely Singapore places

  1. #1
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Uniquely Singapore places

    Singapore, boring?

    Singapore has some very unique places, not found anywhere else in the world (and I'm serious! )


    Shophouses:

    Officially defined as having a business faciltiy on the ground floor and residence on the second floor up. The tallest colonial shophouses here are 5 storeys tall.

    They have a narrow frontage but are very deep. The rear has an alley, used for loading/unloading and dumping of refuse, so that the main street wouldn't be jammed up.
    Most shophouses have either a back courtyard or airwell(s), or both. Some have spiral staircases at the rear. Others have a small door that leads to the second floor at street level beside the main entrance. Others do not.

    The facade reflect the original owner. Different styles, or a combination of them reflect our diverse cultural background.

    Shophouses are generally found in Malaysia and Singapore. A great majority of them are in Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Their presence is predominantly in Singapore.

    Apartments, Tiong Bahru Conservation Area (Tiong Poh Road vicintiy).

    These apartments were built by the Signapore Improvement Trust (SIT) from 1936 onwards.
    Height from 2 to 5 storeys tall.

    The Art Deco apartments are a blend of apartment and shophouse style.
    Almost all apartments have a staircase at the back. All have alleys. Some have airwells.

    Unique places of worship

    Shuang Lin Monastery: Spectacular blended Chinese styled monastery, not found in China
    Masjid Abdul Gafoor: Amazing mosque bearing Classical style elements
    Masjid Sultan: Mosque in blended Art Deco and Islamic styles

    Raffles Hotel
    The most famous landmark here. In tropical neo-Classical style, only found in tropical British colonies. One of the grandest in this style.

    Black & White bungalows
    As their name implies, they are always painted in the two colors. B&W bungalows can be found all over Singapore, in the old areas. There also have unique styles of their own. Generally being Tropical Neo-Classical in design. Only found in Singapore and Malaysia if I'm not mistaken.

  2. #2
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Chinese architecture

    House of Tan Yeok Nee, Penang Road:
    A small mansion built by the wealthy trader, miracously survived the sands of time. The reason so being that the last 2 occupants were charities, in my own opinion.

    31 Devonshire Road:
    Another Chinese mansion, converted into a temple called Tong Xian Tng. Heavily spoilt by modern additions.

    251 River Valley Road:
    Blended Chinese style and shophouse style.

    57 Cuppage Road:
    Blended Chinese style and shophouse style.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    interesting thread..
    though not as photogenic, old style hawker centers are rather unique as well.
    you have raw fish and meat selling behind cooked food stalls.

    temples behind surrounded by high rise buildings and very urban offer great opportunity for contrasting shoots. there's a temple in tiong bahru along tanjong pagar with a hgih rise condo behind it.

    will brainstorm more...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Pardon me for me lack of general knowledge, but i'm curious at why shophouses are said to be found only in Singapore and Malaysia. Don't they have it elsewhere, say, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia as well?

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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Would redstone be qualified to define 'uniquely Singapore'? Singapore may sport a good collection,but certainly not unique. And I don't even claim authority in this matter, which perhaps students and practitioners of architecture would be better informed. Shop houses are found in Holland, too. Raffles Hotel, which is "only found in tropical British colonies" can certainly be found in other tropical British colonies, say Penang. That is not unique to Singapore.

  6. #6
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    The shophouses of SEA are themselves influenced by those in Europe.



    Shophouses are found only in SEA. The great majority which I heard are in Singapore and Malaysia.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Quote Originally Posted by redknuckles
    Pardon me for me lack of general knowledge, but i'm curious at why shophouses are said to be found only in Singapore and Malaysia. Don't they have it elsewhere, say, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia as well?
    No, not exactly. What redstone have bring to our attention is shophouses that is exclusive to South-East Asia; shophouse in this region refer to those housing cum commercial shops with the Sino-English kind of favour. Those in East Asia are almost entirely Chinese.

    Wherein Europe, shophouses exist mostly in modern cities like Amsterdam, Paris and Moscow, but they are entirely European. Those in Singapore or Malaysia are mixed.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    Would redstone be qualified to define 'uniquely Singapore'? Singapore may sport a good collection,but certainly not unique. And I don't even claim authority in this matter, which perhaps students and practitioners of architecture would be better informed. Shop houses are found in Holland, too. Raffles Hotel, which is "only found in tropical British colonies" can certainly be found in other tropical British colonies, say Penang. That is not unique to Singapore.
    I am sure you won't find government housing in that many other countries lining down in a suburban district so neatly, so organised, and streamlined with their very own distinctive features. And those block numbers.

    Yeah, they are unique. Bro, don't pick on the simplest detail, I believe he's just trying to help out by listing the places he find, and hope you find unique. You should be thankful redstone's willing to share.
    Last edited by Slivester; 19th January 2006 at 12:04 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    in my personal opinion I would categorise HDB flats and hawker centres as uniquely singapore, too
    I would imagine that 100 years down the road HDB flats are seen as quaint as shophouses...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock
    in my personal opinion I would categorise HDB flats and hawker centres as uniquely singapore, too
    I would imagine that 100 years down the road HDB flats are seen as quaint as shophouses...
    Agree, especially those SIT flats, I am finding them unique now.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    Would redstone be qualified to define 'uniquely Singapore'? Singapore may sport a good collection,but certainly not unique. And I don't even claim authority in this matter, which perhaps students and practitioners of architecture would be better informed. Shop houses are found in Holland, too. Raffles Hotel, which is "only found in tropical British colonies" can certainly be found in other tropical British colonies, say Penang. That is not unique to Singapore.
    I would say some are even found in the Louisiana Basin, where the tropical weather does have an climatic influence on the architecture of the Victorian era French Quarter in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

    Yowch's right.It's not unique to Singapore, and we all have more to learn ourselves.The real experts in this field, I'm afraid are the UNESCO teams.
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

  12. #12

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Well to be truthful.
    I think OLD unique architecture is hard to find.
    singapore is a mish mash of culture and its interesting to see how many of the elements are influenced by others and not be so narrow minded as to the 'unique' term

    I feel his idea was to capture sights that would be lost to time. Like so many of the photos of singapore river. are like ... so ... mundane!
    haha must imagine its during those times. and you bring a digital camera back to take. the shots..
    soft focus, yellowed images, specks here and there..
    boring composition. its like images taken out from kitchen window like that.. haha ok lah .. can't really compare like that..
    but now they hold so much wonder to look at... you may debate if the photographer used any tots on making the photo so interesting 50 years now.. or its jus a snapshot..
    but with a feeling of nostalgia and curiousity of times past,
    snapshots are interesting..
    in fact it might even be debated as an interesting photo technique.
    the pictures now are all so sharp and colorful.
    sometimes fren's travel photos look like postcards!
    and its jus eye candy in a way...

    but some snapshots hold an allure that make you jus focus on the blurred image and wonder (pun intended)

    eh... btw does Changi Airport count as uniquely singapore?
    wah one place i missed.. the jetty at changi to go ubin.. now revamped liao.. feels so touristy...

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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    HDB flats or Singapore style wet markets and hawker centres are pretty unique I must say. And I am thankful for HDB flats which is now my home. Similarly hawker centers for my meals.

    But there is probably more shophouses in Malacca than in Singapore! I have seen shop houses in Indonesia (Dutch flavour, not British). When we define something unique, nowhere else should have it.

    Willingness to share is good. Defining something nationally unique when it is not is over-blinding pride. The world is very big. If redstone said a good mix of old architecture, fine. Shophouses being unique to Singapore cannot be true.

    What disturbs me enough to write in this thread is the fact that there are claims of supremancy even when there are no grounds. for example: Singapore is the Food Heaven, and yet every wekend Singaporeans drive/bus into the hell of Johor Bahru for food.

    To qualify, I have travelled VERY little and I know that, and I am aware that the world is MUCH larger than what I know or have seen. And if it draws more flames to myself, I am not Singaporean.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    erm fallacy in reasoning LOL inviting flames.
    who says the ones that go JB have good taste buds?
    they have small wallets

    ok lah maybe he should say rare architecture not commonly found elsewhere? hahah dun like that leh sg small place but the ppl got abit of pride one..

    threadstarter! pls say if thread gettting OT for you will delete posts

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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    I apologise if it was a bit of pride and I mistook it for plenty of pride.

    I am of the opinion that those who goes to JB are NOT always poor, considering the multitudes of Singapore-plate RX300 or 500-series BMWs robbed or stolen.

    I accept rare architecture not commonly found everywhere on earth, but certainly very common in this region.

    As a matter of fact, the modern shophouse of ground floor business and first floor residential is a common template in Malaysia towns, often flanking rows of terrace houses and in the corners are the semi-D and bungalows.

    OK, I have done enough damage to myself, apologies to all for deviating from 'Uniquely Singapore Places'. I was really expecting places like the Esplanade, the Singapore Discovery Center (I thought I would discover Singapore, but instead I discovered National Service) and the wonderful Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. And those are really places unique to Singapore and can be proud of.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    I think there's too much emphasis on being pedantic, as in questioning the uniqueness of redstone's recommendations, and failing to see the bigger pix, which is that redstone is trying to compile a list of places for CS-ers who are keen in capturing something special about S'pore.

    Does "unique" have to mean one and only one in the entire universe? Theoretically yes, in a strict dictionary definition. But if you are so strict, your list will become extremely small. Perhaps the Esplanade and Merlion is all that is truly unique, since shophouses are aplenty in Malaysia, colonial bungalows too.

    The phrase "Uniquely Singapore" was coined by the STB to promote S'pore, so lets use that spirit, find thing that are special to S'pore, even if you can't say that S'pore is the one and only place on earth that has such a thing.

    Eg B&W bungalows can be uniquely S'pore but not Starbucks. The former can be found in Singapore (although there are similar ones in Malaysia), but the latter can be found everywhere, and has exactly the same menu, same decor, same taglines, etc.

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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    but 1 should not mislead, y not jus say rare?

    somemore still say,
    Quote Originally Posted by redstone
    Singapore has some very unique places, not found anywhere else in the world (and I'm serious! )
    like he's been round d world (ya, every inch of it).

    would an antique buyer pay d same price 4 a REAL Qing dynasty vase as a reproduction / fake copy? sure they may look almost d same, but is Not d Same. can d seller say its original?

    there is a diff between genuine, reproduction & fake.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Quote Originally Posted by sORe-EyEz
    but 1 should not mislead, y not jus say rare?

    somemore still say,

    like he's been round d world (ya, every inch of it).

    would an antique buyer pay d same price 4 a REAL Qing dynasty vase as a reproduction / fake copy? sure they may look almost d same, but is Not d Same. can d seller say its original?

    there is a diff between genuine, reproduction & fake.

    Alright, cease these. He used the wrong words, will that satisfy you? Can you doubt his kind intentions then? Or perhaps you want to CONTRIBUTE by telling us what is unique?
    Last edited by Slivester; 20th January 2006 at 09:49 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    Quote Originally Posted by Slivester
    Alright, cease these. He used the wrong words, will that satisfy you? Can you doubt his kind intentions then? Or perhaps you want to CONTRIBUTE by telling us what is unique?
    i m CONTRIBUTING by trying pointing out an INACCURACY tt i come across!

    u seem 2 kno him v well 2 kno he has KIND INTENTIONS...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Uniquely Singapore places

    ^^from all that we've read in the other threads. you seem to have something against redstone.

    that aside i would say that even though shophouses and stuff are some might argue, not unique to Singapore, but think about the adaptations like five foot ways and that alike, defeinitely there will be something unique that has been influenced by our culture, climate, politics?

    @redstone, thanks for sharing

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