Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Better ways of shading balconies

I am attaching a couple of pictures of how, in the hot country of Spain, where many apartments have balconies, the residents create shade and shelter, accommodate their air con units, while also creating a unified appearance for their building.

First, there is the use of CURTAINS. All of the same design, same colour. Quite a nice bright approach I think!

Then, there is the use of vertical fixed awnings, here in yellow... again, creating a uniform appearance, even though not all the units have chosen to install awnings... I like the fact that the residents are made to put the a/c units within their balcony, so that they don't really jump out at you...

Finally, here is a high rise block, finished in brick, with a mix of vertical roller blinds and retractable horizontal awnings, in a nice dark green. Again, not all units have it, but it is enough that those awnings that are there, are of the same family. Plus, the balconies, being kept open, enhances the 3-dimensional depth of the facade. This not only retains the original design intent, but also cuts down on the amount of heat being absorbed into the apartment during the hot Spanish summers (much hotter than here!). The planting by the residents is another plus.

The above are all non-conservation buildings.

Wouldn't it be great if our estate could recover a better external appearance if there was some thought taken by all of us and our designers, when we 'work' on our balconies? Afterall, when one moves into a conservation estate, the historic appearance is something that both attracts us in the first place, and is something that we all should contribute to...

Imagine how much better if we could recover this appearance:


Ever thought of biking around Singapore at night en masse?

Well, this coming Saturday night, a major Night Bike Hike will take off at the Tiong Bahru Community Centre at 9 pm!

400 bikers will commence on an overnight bike hike from Tiong Bahru to East Coast Park, and its all contributing to the run up to the YOG in 2010....and brought to you by the Youth Executive Committee (more on this next).

Participating in this hike are also students from River Valley High School, National Junior College & St. Andrew’s Junior College.

While the event is already full, do keep an eye out for the mass of riders on the night... and if you are driving in the neighbourhood - drive safely to avoid our young cyclists! :)

Or better still, come to the CC to join in the excitement of the setting off!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Request for help on INFO

Dear neighbours,

I am sure some of you know that this estate was once known as (and probably is still known for it now), 'Den of Beauties'... due to the many numbers of beautiful women who were kept here as mistresses here by Towkays..... and of course, we have a new generation of freelance beauties these days....

If you do recall info that has been printed - let us know? I have a query from Hui Lian - reproduced below.... and all leads will be appreciated!

I chanced upon your blog on Tiong Bahru Esate and I am very glad for your enthusiasm in sharing with the public on the charm of the estate, of which I am also fond of myself. I am currently working on my dissertation for my university and incidentally my topic is regarding SIT flats. I would like to know more about the description of the "den of beauties" attached to the flats, and as to where I can obtain more insight into this, how it began, what happened etc. Most sources I have seen merely quotes it as it being "rumoured" to house mistresses of the rich. And also is there any books or sources that I can refer to? Your help would very much be appreciated. Thanks!

Hui Lian


Paint and bricks and Paint

Hola Amigos!

Back from my hols and came away with lots and lots of ideas for how the physical environment can be improved in our hood.... but FIRST - the update on the news on how will the painting be done for the 'brick' at Chay Yan Street blocks....

TC has informed me that the reason they cannot recover the brick surface now is that the bricks, have not just been painted over years ago, but that there is actually a layer of thin plaster that was applied over them years ago too... so, there is no way of restoring them for now...

And taking on board feedback from residents who have voiced it, that the available paints make the painting to simulate 'brick' look FAKE, they will take the option of painting everything white.

So, that is that for now....

Let me sort out the images and post them up for your comments....