Kampong Silat Estate

Text by Eugene Tan

Intended as a development scheme for squatter clearance and rehousing affecting 411 households, part of Kampong Silat estate will soon be redeveloped, with history repeating itself.

The 'Type A' blocks of Kampong Silat Estate (Photo credit: Eugene Tan)

When construction of Kampong Silat Estate began in 1948, it was scheduled for completion in 1949. However, the project was delayed due to excessively hard earth on site, wet weather and difficulty experienced by the contractor with his workers. When finished in 1952, the estate had 382 flats, 64 artisans quarters, and 21 shops, spread out over 31 buildings. In 2007, the site was chosen for the Housing Board’s Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme, by which time only 13 of these blocks remained. These were at the western half of the estate and were a mixture of 3 and 4 storey residential buildings.

SIT architectural model of Kampong Silat Estate

SIT planners and architects inspection of Kampong Silat Estate architectural scale model

Kampong Silat Estate in 2012

Significantly, Kampong Silat Estate was Singapore’s second oldest surviving public housing estate, younger only to the now-conserved Tiong Bahru estate, and was vacated once SERs replacement flats were completed in 2011.

Plans of Singapore Improvement Trust's Kampong Silat Estate apartments

Site plan of Kampong Silat Estate

Kampong Silat Estate in 2013 before the rear blocks were demolished

In 2014, the URA announced that five of the blocks, those closest to Kampong Bahru Road, will be gazetted for conservation.

SIT Kampong Silat Estate conservation area

URA Kampong Silat Estate conserved blocks