Reviving Memories: Tanglin Halt’s Transformation and the Promise of a New Era
When the selection of Tanglin Halt for the En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme was announced back in 2014, it undoubtedly marked the start of a very long and tearful farewell for its former residents.
As the very first satellite town in Singapore, the estate and its earliest residents share a rich history that goes all the way back to the 1960s. However, familiar sights like the Tanglin Halt Food Centre, the unique low-rise flats along Commonwealth Drive, and even MP Lily Neo’s Tanglin Halt Clinic have disappeared one by one.
Despite this, a bittersweet ending like this often signifies the start of something new.
While most blocks in the Tanglin Halt estate are scheduled for demolition in 2024, a new build-to-order (BTO) housing project plans to capture a semblance of the estate’s old spirit while catering to younger residents looking to move into the estate. To add on to the new changes, some important pieces of architecture from the estate also stand a chance to be preserved alongside the neighbourhood’s development.
Here are 5 facts about the redevelopment of Tanglin Halt estate that you can look forward to in the (not-so distant) future.
Tanglin Halt’s Redevelopment To Be Divided Into 2 Phases
In order to reduce disruption to stallholders in Tanglin Halt Market, which is still in operation, redevelopment will take place in two different phases.
During the first phase, redevelopment will revolve around the site that used to house the former Commonwealth Drive Food Centre (also known as Tanglin Halt Food Centre) and the still existing Tanglin Halt Market.
Some familiar stall owners from the food centre have since relocated to the Margaret Drive Hawker Centre within SkyResidence @ Dawson, allowing them to continue serving former residents of Tanglin Halt that have since moved to Dawson.
Once the first phase is completed, stallholders from Tanglin Halt Market will move into the integrated development. Afterwards, the second phase of development would begin on the site of the vacated Tanglin Halt Market.
The Integrated Development Features New Hawker Centre, Market and Polyclinic
So what will happen to the stallholders afterwards?
It turns out, old residents may be able to revisit Tanglin and find some of their favourite stalls once again. (Albeit in a shinier-looking building.)
After the first phase of development is completed, the integrated development will feature a new hawker centre and market. Furthermore, a polyclinic is also planned to be built within the vicinity to serve residents as well.
Stallholders from Tanglin Market will likely move into the new market to continue serving residents in the area, and some stall owners from the Food Centre are also likely to return.
Linear Park To Be Built Between Commonwealth MRT Station and the Rail Corridor for Cycling and Nature Buffs
For those who enjoy exercising in the great outdoors or listening to the sounds of nature, they can stand to enjoy a new linear park that will connect two different green zones in the area.
The linear park will be built to connect Commonwealth MRT station and the Rail Corridor, which will accompany new landscaping and recreational facilities that will be introduced along portions of the Rail Corridor within the vicinity of Tanglin Halt. Furthermore, there will also be a new park that will be built near the Rail Corridor to serve as a community space and pit stop for residents.
Historical Buildings Along Commonwealth Drive May Be Repurposed For Recreation
For Commonwealth Drive, residents may spot a familiar piece of preserved heritage as they cycle through the newly-installed cycling footpaths in the area. Blocks 69 and 70, which are now considered heritage buildings from the colonial (and now-defunct) Singapore Improvement Trust, may stand to be repurposed as community spaces in the area.
To pay homage to the old chap lau chu, or “10-storey house” in Hokkien, new blocks near the Rail Corridor will be kept at 10 storeys to replicate those historical buildings of the past. For those looking to brag about living in a low-rise amidst the tall HDB residences in the background, these housing blocks may be the right place to move in.
New BTO, Tanglin Halt Cascadia, Incorporates Familiar Architecture of Old Establishments
What is arguably the most exciting feature of Tanglin Halt’s redevelopment is saved for last.
The first Build-To-Order project in the estate, Tanglin Halt Cascadia, was launched under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model in October 2023. The BTO features more than 973 units and will be part of the integrated development that is closely connected to the dining, health and recreational activities mentioned earlier.
Familiar architecture will also be incorporated into the housing project, such as the iconic hexagonal shape of Commonwealth Drive Food Centre and the barrel vault design of Tanglin Halt Market. Courtyard spaces will also be featured, echoing the plaza area of the estate’s former neighbourhood centre.