Peek into Orchard Street’s previous with our information to Emerald Hill’s historical past, heritage and funky bars

Peek into Orchard Road’s past with our guide to Emerald Hill’s history, heritage and cool bars
A view of the shophouses throughout the road from unique Singapore Chinese language Women Faculty (SCGS). Images: Amelia Ang

Extra than simply an Instagram spot: we uncover the storied pasts of Emerald Hill’s bars, faculty and terrace homes, with loads of images to your viewing pleasure…

Simply throughout the modern, fashionable construction of Orchardgateway, Emerald Hill beckons with low rise heritage homes painted in pleasant hues. This avenue sits quietly within the midst of the department stores and visitors of Orchard Street as a fastidiously restored piece of the realm’s previous.

Strolling alongside the fantastically serene and heritage-rich hill filled with Peranakan institutions, it took a lot is not going to to overstay our welcome. We’re fairly certain the residents of this space are used to curious vacationers and locals gawking at their abodes, however we tried to maintain our exploration as fast and low-key as attainable. Maintain scrolling for beautiful homes and historic tidbits…

From orchard to homes

Follow us on our Emerald Hill stroll…
Observe us on our Emerald Hill stroll… Images: Amelia Ang

Emerald Hill was once a nutmeg and fruit orchard, established by the performing Postmaster Common William Cuppage in 1837, earlier than being purchased over by businessmen Seah Eng and Seah Boon Kang in 1900. From there, small items of the land have been bought to new homeowners who went on to construct the terrace homes and shophouses we nonetheless see at present.

Heritage buildings filled with historical past

Bars along Emerald Hill Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Vibrant shophouses stand alongside the trendy malls of Orchard Street. Images: Amelia Ang

What was once the primary few residential homes alongside the row have since been reworked into quaint watering holes. Earlier than their boozy revamp, the terraces from 8 to 16 Emerald Hill Street have been inbuilt 1911 for developer Phua Poh Kim by Tan Seng Chong – the primary Chinese language to start out his personal architectural agency in Singapore.

Instagram-worthy places in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Cameras out! Right here’s one more picture op-worthy lane. Images: Amelia Ang
Heritage shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Noticed: classic design parts alongside Emerald Hill. Images: Amelia Ang

After the bars, we stumbled on the much-photographed restored residences. (Cue the #ihaveathingfortiles and OOTD snaps!) Peranakan tiles, carved timber window screens and half-length timber doorways (often called pintu pagar) add to their conventional character.

Peranakan shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Can’t cease our obsession with capturing heritage shophouses. Images: Amelia Ang

Up forward at 37 Emerald Hill Avenue is the place the unique Singapore Chinese language Women Faculty (SCGS) stood for nearly 70 years. The varsity was based in 1899 by Dr Lim Boon Keng, Sir Tune Ong Siang and Khoo Seok Wan, initially as an academic institute for Peranakan women.

This manner for Sino-baroque structure

No. 39 Emerald Hill, heritage shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
No. 39 Emerald Hill. Images: Amelia Ang

Additional alongside, a row of homes greeted us with whitewashed facades and conventional Teochew gateways that includes emerald inexperienced, porcelain roof ornamentations. The terrace homes at 39 and 43 have been constructed for Goh Kee Hoon, designed in 1905 by Wan Mohamad Kassim, who was main the architectural division at G.A. Fernandez & Firm. Enjoyable truth: when no. 41 was present process restoration works, the vintage pintu pagar was salvaged from one other property on Smith Avenue.

No. 45 Emerald Hill, heritage shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
No. 45 Emerald Hill. Images: Amelia Ang

The neighbouring No. 45 caught our eyes with the widest frontage and a swallow tail roof ridge – one thing you’d hardly see these days until you’re on a temple go to. This home was initially designed in 1903 for Messrs Seah by Wee Teck Moh, a famend architect finest identified for his half in shaping the basic Sino-baroque shophouse look that everyone knows and love on Instagram (he’s mentioned to have designed a whole bunch!).

Cross-cultural design influences

Majolica tiles, ample foliage and mood-boosting paint jobs are clear tendencies alongside Emerald Hill. Including to the listing of design parts we swooned over, the structure additional down the road references conventional European influences too. Assume forged iron balustrade and classical pilasters used alongside architectural options steeped in Chinese language symbolism, creating an eclectic but elegant classic aesthetic.

Peranakan shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Pastel excellent homes alongside Emerald Hill. Images: Amelia Ang

We’ve a number of designers to thank for dreaming up this mix of Chinese language and European architectural parts. In 1916, homes 64 to 74 have been designed by Johannes Bartholomew (Birch) Westerhout for Puey Soo Keng. The previous additionally served because the Municipal Commissioner (1929 to 1934) and the magistrate (1935).

Peranakan shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Think about having a tete-a-tete at a restored terrace home like this one… Images: Amelia Ang

Throughout the road, R.T. Rajoo designed 17 properties from 53 to 85 within the mid-Twenties for Low Koon Yee, a distinguished Teochew businessman. (In the event you’re questioning why the maths doesn’t add up, unit numbers of Emerald Hill’s homes are even numbered on one facet of the road and odd numbered on the opposite.)

Heritage shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Facades so vibrant, they appear freshly painted. Images: Amelia Ang

Whereas we love the quaint bars at first of Emerald Hill, this stretch of homes would possibly simply take the cake for fantastically capturing (by its restored structure) the realm’s historical past when it was previously a Straits Chinese language settlement and below British colonial rule.

What’s on the finish of the hill?

Beyond the historical Peranakan houses of Emerald Hill.
Past the historic Peranakan homes of Emerald Hill. Images: Amelia Ang
Goodbye heritage houses, hello apartment blocks. | Guide to Emerald Hill
Goodbye heritage homes, hiya condo blocks. Images: Amelia Ang

Round items 134 onwards is the place the heritage homes finish and fashionable condo blocks start. (That is the place you’ll see the signpost for Saunders Street.) Past that lie extra residential buildings and the primary highway, which is the place our little journey ends.

Peranakan shophouses in Singapore | Guide to Emerald Hill
Leaving you with one final snap of Emerald Hill’s beautiful terrace homes. Images: Amelia Ang

This avenue is critically a factor of magnificence and we wholeheartedly suggest popping by for a leisurely jaunt to get schooled on Orchard Street’s historical past with out spending a cent – simply preserve an eye fixed out for the little steel indicators alongside the best way that feed you with bite-sized info about these buildings!


The place to drink on Emerald Hill: Greatest bars

Traditional terrace houses at Emerald Hill
We fell in love with these conventional terrace homes. Images: Amelia Ang

1. Acid Bar

Reside music? Test. Completely satisfied hour? Test. In the event you’re searching for a cool spot to sip your tipples and luxuriate in rockin’ tunes, Acid Bar is the place you need to be. Go forward and order some gentle bites or hearty mains for those who’re feeling peckish!
Acid Bar, Peranakan Place, 180 Orchard Street, Singapore 238846​

2. Alley Bar

The oldest heritage bar on this block is all about paying homage to the realm’s tradition by infusing signature Nyonya flavours into its cocktails. Take pleasure in choices comparable to Jungle Chook and Frangelico Bitter, or keep on with perennial favourites like Aperol spritz and negroni cocktails.
Alley Bar, Peranakan Place, 2 Emerald Hill Street, Singapore 229287

3. No.5 Emerald Hill

Bars on Orchard Road | No.5 Emerald Hill
Images: No.5 Emerald Hill

You’re by no means actually dwelling till you’ve visited this recognisable stalwart. A favorite hang-out among the many hip and classy, right here’s the place you will get every kind of martinis. The espresso martini is a ceremony of passage! Psst: don’t be alarmed by the copious peanut shells on the ground.
No.5 Emerald Hill, 5 Emerald Hill Street, Singapore 229289

4. Que Pasa

Could we curiosity you in some Spanish wine and tapas? Since 1995, Que Pasa has been providing over 100 wines sourced from all around the world. In the event you’re celebrating a special day right here, select from its library assortment of uncommon wines.
Que Pasa, 7 Emerald Hill Street, Singapore 229291

5. Ice-Chilly Beer

If beer’s extra your factor, drop by ICB. Think about over 60 varieties of bottled and draught beers so that you can pattern. Feels like heaven, sure? You should definitely pair your choice with delish eats like sizzling canine, rooster wings, and mini beef hamburgers.
Ice-Chilly Beer, 9 Emerald Hill Street, Singapore 229283

Make a date with Emerald Hill to admire its magnificence and historical past earlier than taking a break at one of many bars!