Built to serve the residential needs of military personnel from the British Royal Air Force (RAF) upon the completion of Seletar Airport in 1928, are a total of 378 colonial bungalows located around an area that up till today, is still synonymous with the military defence of Singapore.
Of these 378 colonial bungalows, 178 have been unfortunately set aside for demolition due to the impending arrival of the Seletar Aerospace Park come 2018, to help meet the need of growing aviation facilities in Singapore. Most of these are located around the roads of Hyde Park Gate, Old Birdcage Walk and The Oval.
Like the colonial bungalows in enclaves like Wessex Estate and former British Naval Base in Sembawang, the distinctly black-and-white buildings were built with high ceilings and numerous windows to ensure good air circulation within the house, a particular necessity in our warm tropical climate.
While entrance to the bungalows along Hyde Park Gate are now prohibited by the Singapore Land Authority(SLA), there is still a small cluster of abandoned colonial bungalows just down the over at Old Birdcage Walk that remains very much intact.
The colours of nature here provide a picturesque contrast to the pristine black-and-white buildings, while walking around the finely weathered door panels, window panes, and even unique chimney-like structures make you wonder what living here would have been like.
Fortunately, just across the road lies Oxford Street and Mornington Crescent, that are home to the remaining colonial bungalows that are used for residential purposes.
Just recently, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) have stated that the 32 bungalows along Hyde Park and The Oval have been slated for conservational redevelopment into a series of restaurants, spas and other leisure activity areas, with the aim of bringing back the vibrancy and charm back to the Seletar area.
If you want to explore this area of Seletar, take a bike ride around the area as the many twists and turns often make vehicle travelling a hassle. You can enter either from Seletar West Link or Jalan Kayu though I would prefer the former as you can cycle out for lunch at Jalan Kayu thereafter.