Home facades in Singapore to frown or fawn over

When we think of facades, our immediate mental image is our HDB void deck or our common corridor and lift lobby outside our doorstep. In the spirit of facades, we thought we visit some beloved Singapore residential frontages, including several our readers sent us.

For 78.7% of Singapore’s resident population, who lives in HDB flats, our front door facades, or common corridors, are usually lined with bicycles, shoes, laundry racks and prayer altars.

Occasionally, neighbours would place their potted plants (or overhanging plant racks) around their front door and parapet wall, right up close to their neighbours’ front doors. Maybe it’s their way to share the kampung spirit?

hdb corridor
The HDB common corridor – the longish corridor designs help sound travel faster, like the noise of shoes sliding on concrete – useful when we expect guests or deliverymen.

Anyway, most residents in HDB apartments abide by Town Council rules when it comes to what they can or cannot place outside their front door, especially when it concerns fire safety.

Understandably, everyone takes pride in their homes and would occasionally find ways to show-off, or utilise all the space they can get, even the shared spaces outside their doorsteps. So, we get adventurous risk-takers like these:



Beyond HDBs, 16% of our population live in condominiums. Here, the facades are a little exclusive. Beyond the gated security and underground carparks, home facades at condominiums are usually just one (the very private types) or two to six apartments to a lobby with two to three lifts.

Naturally, residents are allowed to display or store more items outside the apartment’s front door, say larger shoe racks (even customised ones) and plants.

Most would make an effort to beautify their facades – welcome mats, door signs and so on. However, if residents intend to install pull-down shades around their balconies, or change the windows of their back-facing yards, permits and approvals via the MCST are necessary, or else there’s trouble.

Beyond fire safety, most condos have MCST rules which disallow structural changes to facades that may alter the homogeneous tone of their exteriors.

One common reason is that the exterior of the condominium should look homogeneous and uniform to retain its look. For example, if the exterior walls of the condo are grey-toned, residents are usually not allowed to install external-facing window frames or permanent shades that are say, pink or rainbow-hued.

In other words, for condo residents, there are still limits to what they can do with their facades, no matter how much they’ve paid for their homes.

Also, most condominiums have resident communities (ie. Facebook and WhatsApp groups) and MCST-governed mobile apps, where residents can take photos of their neighbour’s obstructive or rules-breaking facades to file as a complaint.

Finally, we have 5% of our resident population living in landed homes.

Traditionally, most landed homeowners own the land and the house. This means they can tear down the former structure, build a new one while designing any facade they want. They can also build underground (yes, gigantic basements which 95% of Singapore residents probably don’t know about).

Occasionally, what they do to beautify their facades (or estate) can get them in trouble or dispute with their neighbours and estate management as well.

While most landed homes in Singapore have facades that are, to put it bluntly, kind of drab or practical, there are a few which stand out for us:

Sentosa cove pirates Caribbean facade house
That’s quite a facade for a landed home. It’s either going for a Pirates of the Caribbean theme or the owner has an affinity for ships, marine life and the sea. (Image source: Nicholas Goh)


horizontal windows space age design sentosa cove
Here’s another facade with an interesting curvaceous design with horizontal windows (or window ledges) and a waterfall feature. Very space-agey, or Millennium Falconey. (Image source: Nicholas Goh)


rustic hut shape sentosa cove design balinese facade
We’re not exactly sure if there’s a central theme here, but it will definitely get curious looks from its more traditional neighbours, pun intended. (Image source: Nicholas Goh)


midwestern architecture sentosa cove facade
This facade invokes a sense of nostalgia, or novelty, like from the movies – mainly because of its straight angular designs (even the windows) and well, barn-like theme. (Image source: Edmond Ng)


glass sentosa cove swimming pool facade
Finally, here’s a three-storey “glass house” with a pool. Definitely inviting for kaypoh neighbours – or is it the other way around…? (Image source: Edmond Ng)

If you found this article intriguing and interesting, check out our 6 unique SG condos with gorgeously conserved buildings and Crazy Rich Asians: 5 Singapore landed homes fit for the 1%.

Looking for a property to buy or rent? Find your dream home on Singapore’s largest property portal 99.co! If you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here – we’ll review it and get back to you.

The post Home facades in Singapore to frown or fawn over appeared first on 99.co.

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