Monday, 8 November 2010

the shophouses of Singapore

Shophouses can be - and are - multi-functional ..... a shop, a home, a restaurant or even a business, whatever you want it to be!

Typically, shophouses consist of shops on the ground floor which open up to a public arcade or "five-foot way", and which have residential accommodation upstairs. The shophouses would abut each other to form rows with regular facade, fire walls and adherence to street alignment.

A great site for information on Shophouses and where to locate them is Singapore.Sg and I have uploaded a blog on the Five Foot Ways of Cantonment Road in Singapore, that may also be of interest.
most are very well cared for, then you come across a few that need more then just a coat of paint!
 Many styles are unique to Singapore, though shophouses can also be seen in parts of Malaysia.

Over the time we have been here I have often taken photos of these amazing shophouses ..... there are a few here for your enjoyment.
 As its name suggests, a shophouse often contains a shop with separate residential spaces. More generally, space occupied by the former contains a semi-public function. While this usually is, and historically usually was, a shop, it could just as easily be a food and beverage dormitory for single workers. 

Popular belief holds that shophouses were initially occupied by single families, with their private living areas in one space and the more public family business in another. However, it is possible that the two spaces were usually used by unrelated persons or groups, who may be tenants or resident owners. The position of the shop and residential space depends on the number of floors of the shophouse: A single storey shophouse tends to include residential space behind the shop, while residential spaces in shophouses of two or more storeys are typically located above the shop.

There are people that purchase these Shophouses and renovate, as did this couple. Click HERE to see the amazing renovation of one of these very old shophouses!
 Singapore is modernizing at an incredible rate and shows no sign of slowing down. Fortunately, its unique shophouse architecture is being preserved in ways that both residents and visitors can appreciate and utilize.

Next time you are visiting Singapore or maybe just wandering around the streets, take a closer look at some of these unique buildings of Singapore!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi -

I just moved to Singapore and just discovered your blog. I am on some of the same adventures that you have taken in your years here.