This heritage house lends rich insight into Singapore's Peranakan community, thanks to beautifully preserved architecture and artefacts.
A Peranakan* heritage house with exhibits just as vibrant as its bright blue exterior, NUS Baba House is a fantastic journey into the early 20th century home of a prominent Straits Chinese family.
Once the ancestral home of shipping tycoon Wee Bin, this pre-war terrace house is one of the few traditional Peranakan shophouses in Singapore with its elaborate original interiors still intact.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
The National University of Singapore acquired and restored the house, thanks to a donation by Agnes Tan, the youngest daughter of renowned Malacca-born businessman and community leader Tun Tan Cheng Lock.
After a two-year restoration, NUS Baba House opened in 2008. Today, it is managed by the university, which sent in researchers to preserve its exterior and interiors architecture, including furnishing and household wares.
Archaeologists and art historians from the university had the opportunity to carry out excavations and a study on the iconography of the building’s ornamentation.
You’ll find these artefacts among the more than 2,000 Peranakan antiques and decorative items displayed on the first and second floors. Don’t miss the temporary exhibitions on Peranakan themes at the gallery on the third floor.
Tip: Visits to NUS Baba House, are strictly by appointment and visitors are required to sign up in advance for a heritage tour.