Sunday, February 26, 2012

House of Tan Teng Niah

This Chinese villa located at No. 37 Kerbau Road is named ‘Siew Song’, meaning elegant pine which is believed to name after Tang Teng Niah’s wife, for whom the villa was built.

Tan Teng Niah was an owner of a confectionery business, along with a few other small businesses who resided in Serangoon Road area where the cattle and textile traders dominated. The House of Tang Teng Niah has a history of more than a century old. Built in 1900, this eight-room villa – a hybrid of Southern Chinese and European architectural styles, was restored in the 1980s. This villa also won the Singapore Institute of Architects Honourable Mention Award in 1991.

On both sides of the house, carriage gates led into a courtyard. The second story overhangs the first, creating the space resembling a five-foot way (a colloquial term used to refer to the sheltered walkway of colonial-era shophouses).

We were so amazed that a Chinese building exists in the hearts of an Indian community and the bright and vivid colours really blew our minds off! Come to think of it, it is a wonder for such a beautiful and colourful building to even exist in Singapore!

We just have 1 question… Is this a legacy of Mr Tan Teng Niah?

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