East Coast Road Blks 1-4

Text by Eugene Tan

The demise of four blocks of public housing at the junction of East Coast Road and Siglap Road occurs in 2015. Blocks 1, 2, and 3 came under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) in 2011, while Block 4, consisting of rental flats, will also be redeveloped.

East Coast Road Blks 1-4 in 2012 (Photo credit: Eugene Tan)

A fringe development of the 1960’s East Coast Reclamation Scheme, a total of 82 households were accommodated in four low-rise slab blocks. Each building having five-storeys, this would have been of a more commensurate scale to the private housing estates to the rear, while also adding a greater residential density into the Siglap commercial area. To that end, it was a unique public housing project, occupying a prime location among landed houses and low-rise commercial amenities.

The large open drain at East Coast Road Blks 1-4

The public green frontage along East Coast Road

This public housing project is also made special through its response to several large drains which cut through the estate. Blocks 3 and 4 flank the primary canal, not only employing it as a datum from which housing units are separated, but also a physical separation for pedestrians at street level.

Blocks 2 and 4 East Coast Road

Stairwell and louvers at East Coast Road Blks 1-4

Also of interest is a large fenced-in plot of verdant grass between the blocks and the landed properties along East Coast Terrace. This, like the open drains, modifies the way one walks through the estate. One finds no archetypal diagram of a Singapore public housing estate where the street level is permeable and void decks, universal.

Fenced off grass plot along East Coast Terrace

Back elevation of East Coast Road Blks 1-4