January 7, 2019
Sentosa POLW
January 7, 2019
at Neil Road
Located within a conservation district, this home celebrates the traditional charm of Peranakan shophouses with the addition of new spaces interspersed with courtyards that serve as visual focal points and remain sensitive to the building’s rich heritage. The original courtyard – with its preserved ornate fish mould centrepiece and accompanying water feature – forms the heart of the common areas while a newer courtyard marks the transition from the old structure into its new extension.
The Process
The OXD team ensured that many original elements were retained and restored, such as the timber flooring, doorframes, window shutters and iron gates. Clay bricks were also recycled and incorporated into a partition wall, while salvaged glazed tiles were put to use in the bathrooms. The bathroom floors were also given a terrazzo finish as a nod to the age-old craft that is fast dying out. The blue paint for the walls was restored to a more authentic tone by using mineral silicate, while a pigmented grouting mixture helped to recreate the five-foot way’s red cement flooring.
The Outcome
The forecourt’s boundary wall now displays a progression from old to new, with its paint-stripped bricks revealing layers of the shophouse’s history. The spirit of the traditional shophouse also extends to its internal environment. This home takes advantage of the shophouse structure in which its external enclosure shields the interiors from the tropical heat, while its various courtyards bring in sunlight and aid with cross-ventilation.

With its blending of old and new elements, this house not only preserves a unique cultural heritage, but also acts as a storytelling device that narrates the histories of its past and present occupants.