pearlbank apartments

A Singapore Housing Icon

   data.entry 10 | 03 | 2003

As featured April 1976







05 | 00 Archive

The original Pearlbank Showflat

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2001 Text Introduction

Recently found photos of the original show flat for Pearlbank are a real treat. We were so taken by the retro exuberance of the design, we just had to give you a peek. Some units are in pristine 70's condition. We will be seeking these owners out and hope to add more groovy images soon. 

Text -  Building: Materials & Equipment Southeast Asia   01 | 03 | 1976

Typical three-bedroom unit

One of the show flats on the 30th floor designed by Mrs. Chee of Interni Design & Contract Pte Ltd was so impressive that a prospective tenant bought the flat together with all the furnishings.

It is an example of a typical three-bedroom unit. The front door entrance leads into the dining area, although the latter does not immediately confront the visitor.

The dining area is separated by a half screen from the kitchen which has a full-height storeroom, instead of the usual sloping store under the staircase.

From the 'raised' dining areas, a flight of stairs leads to the living area, which is a half-floor split below. This, as stated earlier, is on the outer rim of the tower and thus has a panoramic view of Chinatown, the busy Singapore waterfront and its skyscrapers, and the distant islands off the Republic.

There is no 'real' balcony as such but one can stand at a small railing (revealed by sliding aluminium and glass door) to the extreme of the room.

The show flat by Interni is carpeted throughout in golden brown scheme. The focal point is the false ceiling from which are suspended clusters of stemmed lights on alternate square panels. One side of the living area is given a brick-wall effect and divided into vertical panels by parallel strips of wooden lining.

Despite all the trimmings described above, the 'conversation piece' is still the 'see-through' splits of the three different levels. In this case, the dining area on the first level; the living on the second; and five steps below the bar area (which is directly under the dining area). 

"So Brady, lah"  website

The bar is separated from the living area by three carpeted columns, two of which can double as shelves for knick-knacks or bottles. 

In the show flat, the bar counter as well as one side of the wall has mirror tiles to give it a touch of glamour. However, this space can alternatively be used to accommodate a piano or turned into a play corner with dart board and carrom tables.

From the bar, one can take another three steps down to a secondary bedroom with bathroom attached and a washing cum drying airwell next to it. From here the back door leads to fire escape staircase and to the lift lobby.

Interni Design has showed how this room which is the smallest of the three can be made more interesting by dividing it into three levels. It is more suitable for growing children so that the noise can be diverted from the living area.

The secondary bedroom is on the same level as the living area and its attached bathroom has a door leading to the living area so that guests can also make use of it.

The master bedroom is further away next to the secondary bedroom mentioned above. Both are located on the outer rim and thus enjoy privacy and panoramic views.


The temporary occupational licence was to be granted for the lower half of the tower at the time of writing. Meantime Brady's (S) Pte Ltd was putting the finishing touches to the specially designed ceilings of the penthouses. In the middle is a flat ceiling measuring 1.8m by 4.3m from which a step formation is moulded to follow the profile of the 'slant' on both sides. The step formation ends exactly at the window glazing.

To give an idea of the proportion of this fibrous plaster ceiling, the height from the floor to the ceiling is 3.2m (10.5 ft) and the height from the flat part of the ceiling to the end of the step formation is 2.28m (7.5 ft).

Externally, Pearlbank is finished in Shanghai plaster and the inner rim walls in Sandex matt (by William Jacks & Co (S) Sdn Bhd), accentuated by the brown two-story high staircases.

The corridors are finished in suspended ceilings which cover up service conduits and pipings. Internal finishes include parquet flooring, emulsion painted walls, up-to-ceiling tiling for bathrooms. Windows are provided with 0.61m (2 ft) ledges to prevent looking straight down, from a building reaching about the same altitude above sea-level as Singapore's highest peak, the 176.7m (581 ft) Bukit Timah Hill. 2015 all rights reserved

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