Exterior of Tiong Bahru Bakery in Tiong Bahru

Tiong Bahru is one of the most fascinating neighbourhoods in Singapore, epitomising as it does the cycle of change in the fast evolving country.

Developed in the 1930s by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT)—predecessor of the Housing Development Board (HDB) —Tiong Bahru exists as one of the oldest public estates in Singapore.

The SIT flats along Tiong Bahru and Seng Poh Roads in the estate are a beautiful testament to the Art Deco period, which was fashionable at the time.

Attention to detail

Long horizontal lines, smoothly curving corners, exterior spiral staircases, flat rooftops and round porthole windows in stairwells are just some of the rich architectural details of these flats.

They stand as a stark contrast to the blocks of flats that the HDB churned out later with maximum efficiency.

Charming nooks

The pendulum swung back in 2003, after many of its buildings were granted conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Today, its charm can be seen in the steady stream of chic cafes, boutiques and restaurants sprouting up in the area’s preserved spaces.

The combination of a rich heritage and some of the most charming lifestyle and hospitality options to open here make this neighbourhood a must-see when exploring Singapore.