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Flashback to Singaporean vibrancy

It’s Friday, and time for a flashback to an old Travel with Intent post. There were quite a few posts from previous January Twenty-niners that tempted me, but this bright and colourful post seemed to be what we all need at the moment.

Indian Vibrancy with Chinese Heritage

Originally posted January 29, 2016, all images Singapore, July 2015

If you’ve been planning a spot of exterior decoration at home, this could be your paint palette – the building flaunts a multitude of vibrant colours.

After all, why try to choose just one colour when there are so many possibilities out there, just waiting for your paintbrush?

This eye-wincingly bright building stands in Little India, in Singapore.  It is actually one of the surviving Chinese villas in the area and was built back in 1900 by Ten Tang Niah, the owner of several sweet-making factories and a rubber smokehouse.  This large eight-roomed villa certainly demonstrates his financial success.

The architecture uses a combination of Southern Chinese and European architectural styles.  In its original state, there were carriage doors leading into a courtyard and the main entrance had richly carved decorative swinging doors.  The first floor overhangs the ground floor to provide the sheltered walkway, known as a five-foot way, that was a common design feature.

Now, don’t imagine that the owner’s commercial interest in confectionary led to the bright colour scheme: the house back then was adorned in a calm traditional whitewash.

This grand house gradually fell into disrepair and it was not renovated until the late 1980s (the sign shown above has an image of the house pre-renovation, in 1983) when the Little India area rescued it.  The vivacious colour scheme was eventually  added as part of that work and it certainly now fits in with the other buzzing décor in the area.

The Residence of Tan Teng Niah, Singapore, July 2015



Copyright Debbie Smyth

Posted as part of Fandango’s Flashback Friday

17 replies »

  1. I will always fall in love with how colorful Singapore is! I always make it a point to drop by Little India to see the colorful murals and establishments. The photos are very refreshing! ❤


  2. What wonderful colors, it must be a paradise for photographers there 🙂
    What a difference when I see how the building used to be and how it is now neatly maintained and colored. Beautiful pictures !


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