Discover 5 Key Differences Between Landed Properties Past and Present
Whether it is in the past or present, landed properties have stood the test of time in Singapore’s history. Landed properties, particularly residential ones, have changed a fair bit over the years. So we decided to find some differences between landed residences of the past and of the present, especially as we bid goodbye to the 191 old-time two-storey terrace houses of Geylang Lorong 3 as they are returned to the state and prepared for demolition in 2021.
Landed properties being defined here comprise residential ones, particularly bungalows, semi-detached houses, and terrace units.
1. Difference in Shape and Style of Roof
Roofs in Singapore have gone through some changes over the years. In the past, the most common roof shapes and styles were the pitched or sloped roofs, made with clay or tile shingles.
While pitched roofs are still prominent in many landed properties today, many newly-built landed properties sport the flat roof. The flat roof is easier to build, has a cost-effective roofing solution, and is versatile – you can use it as a rooftop gym, entertainment area, or garden. Basically, unlike with a slanted roof, you can style a flat one for any purpose (counted you have rooftop shelters for harsh weather).
However, flat roofs may be harder to maintain as it has to be kept clean and dry on a regular basis. You may also have to install special drainage systems to prevent flooding and water stagnation.
Concrete, metallic alloys, and plastic alloys have been added to the list of materials used to create roofs. In addition, due to technological advancements over the years, energy-saving solar panels can be installed on roofs in Singapore today – something that would have been unheard of in the past.
2. Difference in Usage of Car-Porch Roof
In the past, a car-porch roof for a landed residence was just that – a shelter for your parked vehicle. There was not much else you could do with it in the past.
This conversion is allowed as long as it ‘remains open-to-sky and unenclosed’, ‘the parapet wall at the perimeter of the car porch is not higher than one metre’, and ‘the light-weight screen wall along the common boundary is not higher than 1.8 metres’, as per URA guidelines.
Due to a demand for spacious, bright, and airy spaces, local architects have been erecting landed residences with expansive transparent or translucent facades. Having transparent exterior walls brings in more sunlight while elevating the illusion of spaciousness due to ‘opening up’ the area. These see-through walls are either tinted or equipped with special cladding to retain privacy and reduce glare.
Such exquisite landed projects can be found on local architectural and interior design websites, with some being featured here on BuildersTalk.
As seen in the case of the Geylang Lorong 3 homes, old landed housing in popular districts may be placed on sale en-bloc to make way for public housing, leading to decreases in the number of landed residences in Singapore today.
While landed residences today have become pricier and more difficult to obtain due to their decreasing number albeit rising value, they have evolved into intricate inhabitable works of art and architectural prowess.