Monday, 6 July 2015

Ridley Park - Black & Whites

It's been a little while since I last added a post in the series of the iconic Black and White Colonial homes here in Singapore, but I shall rectify that with this post!

Sitting in the trendy upmarket area of Tanglin, close to both The shopping Mecca of Orchard Road and not so far from the Botanical Gardens, these substantial homes are now, like the many others, home to predominantly affluent expats. Originally though they were built as married quarters, to house the officers and their families whom came from Tanglin Barracks.

Tanglin Barracks were the earliest barracks to be built here in Singapore, established and built around the mid to late 1800s, although some buildings were later added in 1896 and 1907. The barracks themselves were built in the Anglo-Malay style, large buildings with over hanging roofs and a veranda running around the outside of the buildings, predominantly timber framed, they were open and airy.

Ridley Park Estate, and its neighbour Ridout Road, are the earliest of the military estates built in the 1920s. Ridout is situated North of Tanglin Barracks and Ridley Park to its South. The houses have progressed on from the Anglo-Malay style and are now more contemporary in design. They have large verandas running the length of the buildings, with open sided terraces allowing airflow, many with steps up to a portico (porch) 

They were named after Sir Henry Ridley, 1855-1956, curator of the Singapore Botanical Gardens, which sit relatively close by.

Amongst these homes can be seen a few Art Deco homes from the 1930s. These stand out to the others with flat roofs, round and curved walls and adornments. Clean lines and straight plain windows and doors. These homes, along with those you see in other black and white estates, take their design from the German 'Weissenhofiedlung' - 'White House Estate'.

One note of warning as you walk through this shaded, leafy and verdant estate, make sure you are wearing insect repellent, or at least something very strong to put off those mosquitoes, I have never been more bitten anywhere here in Singapore as I was at Ridley Park!!! Even though I was liberally doused, they seemed to be attracted to the 'poison' - my arms were black with them !!!

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