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Generic placeholder imageUrban Sketchers Singapore (USKSG) showing off their creations of the Former Gillman Officers’ Mess


As Singapore approaches its bicentennial year in 2019, it is worth remembering our rich heritage and that many structures, which have borne witness to our history and growth, are still standing today.

Returning for a second year, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) collaborated with heritage blogger Jerome Lim to present Discovering Singapore's Best Kept Secrets, where the public visited selected State properties and were treated to informative commentaries through guided tours. This year’s edition also saw the participation of the Urban Sketchers Singapore (USKSG), who were at the venues to sketch the various properties.

Former Gillman Officers’ Mess

The colonial building on 10 Hyderabad Road was built in 1935 and featured adaptations to fit our tropical climate with large windows or doors with big airy corridors. 10 Hyderabad Road was built as an officers' mess during an era of rapid military barracks upgrades and construction work, when its architecture features were replicated across several British military barracks across the island.

The Ministry of Health took over the property after the withdrawal of British Forces from Singapore in 1971 to house the Dental Health Education Unit followed by the Institute of Dental Health until 1998 before SP Jain School of Global Management rented the location and repurposed it into an administration office as well as a hostel for visiting faculty in 2006.

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Generic placeholder imageThe architectural structure of the Former Gillman Officers’ Mess was maintained even as it was repurposed into an administration office for S P Jain School of Global Management

Watten Estate Road

Originally erected as a cluster of six houses between the late 1920s to mid-1930s, only two of these architectural gems remain standing today. Set upon the vast plot of land once known as the Chasseriau Estate, these houses were designed by none other than the distinguished government architect, Major Percy Hubert Keys, who also notably designed the Fullerton Building, the Bowyer Block of Singapore General Hospital and the King Edward VII College of Medicine.

Old Changi Hospital

Back by popular demand, participants learnt about how two original blocks(24 and 37) of the hospital were built in the 1930s as part of the development of Kitchener Barracks in the Changi Garrison. The trip also featured a special guest from the UK in Ms Michelle Kendell and her mother, as they shared their memories of Changi when Michelle's grandfather was an adjutant of RAF Changi Hospital (the former name of Changi Hospital) in 1960s.

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Generic placeholder imageThe tour around the Old Changi Hospital featured special guests, Ms Michelle Kendell and her mother, who shared their memories of 1960s Changi


Simon Ong (Chairman), Johnson Seah,
Ng Siau Yong and Soh Kheng Peng


Johnson Seah


Pearlly Luo


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Eai-Sy Yap, Sim Sze-wei, Cheryl Lim, Cho Chui Wai
and Lee Mou Jian

LAND is a quarterly online publication by Singapore Land Authority (SLA), 55 Newton Road #12-01, Singapore 307987. For feedback and suggestions, write to Pearlly Luo at or call 1800-3239829