Shophouses in Singapore

  • Singapore Shophouse for sale - Little India Chinatown Tanjong Pagar


 Shophouses in Singapore

A historical source of delight and nostalgia—are a prevalent building type in Singapore’s architectural and built heritage. They are also commonly found throughout the historic cities of South East Asia. They are narrow, small terraced houses, with a sheltered ‘five foot’ pedestrian way at the front.

These buildings can be used for both business and living. Constructed between the 1840s and the 1960s, these shophouses formed the majority of the pre-WW2 urban fabric of the old city centre as well as several other parts of Singapore.

These buildings are generally two- to three- storeys high, built in contiguous blocks with common party walls. Shophouses therefore form the bulk of our gazetted conservation buildings. The shophouses still around today have been carefully restored and conserved according to our conservation guidelines.


A Brief History of Conservation

The earliest steps taken to preserve some of Singapore’s important monuments and landmarks were carried out through the Preservation of Monuments Board. The first 8 buildings granted legal protection as national monuments in 1973 were:

  • Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
  • Armenian Church
  • St Andrew’s Cathedral
  • Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
  • Telok Ayer Market
  • Thong Chai Building
  • Thian Hock Keng
  • Sri Mariamman Temple

The 1970s and early 1980s saw the rehabilitation of State-owned shophouses by URA along Murray Street and Tudor Court to change public perception of the value of these pre-war buildings. Singapore was increasingly interested in conservation throughout the 1980s. Some key milestones include the pedestrianisation of Emerald Hill Road in1981, and the unveiling of the Conservation Master Plan for the city’s historic areas in 1986. In 1987, the pilot restoration project by URA at No. 9 Neil Road, was completed and opened for public viewing. Subsequently, restoration was carried out for the rest of the Tanjong Pagar precinct and elsewhere.

1989 marked a milestone in Singapore, when 10 conservation areas in the historic districts of Chinatown (Telok Ayer, Kreta Ayer, Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Pasoh)Little IndiaKampong Glam, Singapore River (Boat Quay and Clarke Quay), Cairnhill and Emerald Hill, with a total of over 3200 buildings, were gazetted for conservation. These were early efforts to conserve our buildings of architectural, historical and cultural significance in Singapore.

To date, conservation status has been given to over 7000 buildings in more than 100 areas.


Historic District

  1. Boat Quay
  2. Chinatown(includes Maxwell No.38 & 89 Neil Road)
  3. Kampong Glam
  4. Little India



  1. Armenian Street (includes Loke Yew Street and Fort Canning)
  2. Balestier
  3. Beach Road (includes North Bridge Road No. 490 to 496 and 516)
  4. Bras Basah Road
  5. Bukit Timah Road No. 501
  6. Cantonment Road
  7. Geylang (includes Sims Avenue No. 514 to 530)
  8. Jalan Besar (includes Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hall and Former Victoria School)
  9. Jalan Jurong Kechil
  10. Joo Chiat (includes Still Road South No. 25 and 26)