Mountbatten estate

Mountbatten Estate, estate, with a total area of 161 ha, is one of 5 subzones in the Marine Parade area, located within the Central Region. It is named after Lord Louis Mountbatten who later became Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Today Mountbatten Estate is described as being an area with a good mix of quality bungalow housing and residential apartments.

There was a vast coconut plantation known as Grove Estate, stretching from the original shoreline towards the former Grove Road, which is now Mountbatten Road. Mountbatten Road runs from Tanjong Katong Road to the Geylang River/north boundary of Mountbatten Estate. The estate too, is part of the East Coast and was famed for its beach. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the wealthy set up homes here, dotting the estate with bungalows. The 1-storey raised bungalows of the rich were such a familiar sight along Mountbatten Road, that they were nicknamed "Millionares' Bungalows". These peculiar houses were first built in India and were found to be effective in keeping the heat of the tropical sun away as the under-floor ventilation kept the rooms cool. At least 15 of these buildings have been set aside for conservation including Chansville, the childhood home of the famed Chan siblings, Mark and Pat. The architectural styles of these bungalows range from Art Deco to Victorian to early Modern.

Key Features
The Geylang River cuts through Mountbatten into the Tanjong Katong area. It was a muddy river sitting in a bed of soft marine clay and during low-tide, it was popular with the neighbourhood children who would climb down the low concrete walls to catch fish and crabs. At high tide however, floods would descend upon Mountbatten area and Tanjong Katong in particular. Thus, in 1994, the Geylang River was redeveloped. The S$40 million project gained the Best Buildable Design award from the Construction Industry Development Board for the apt use of jet grouting in redeveloping the river into a U-shaped, reinforced concrete canal. Today the river banks lead up to a park and is popular with strollers and joggers.

The Eurasian Association (founded in 1920) set up home in Mountbatten Road in February 1995. They are located at the Eurasian Association (EA) Community House at 715-717 Mountbatten Road. The EA Community House seeks to serve as a self-help centre for the Eurasians, with amenities such as tuition rooms, computers and audio-visual facilities.

The old Tun Seri Lanang School is now the home for the La Salle-SIA College of the Arts which has a curriculum that covers the fine arts, performing arts, music and drama.

Vernon Cornelius

Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places (pp. 291-292, 373). Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 EDW)

Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Marine Parade planning area: Planning report 1994 (pp. 8, 12). Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority.
(Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 

Ida Bachtiar. (1993, August 5). Mountbatten houses to be conserved. The Straits Times, Life!. p. 4.

Tan, H. Y. (1995, May 28). Floods in Tanjong Katong now a thing of the past. The Straits Times, p. 22.

Yeo, K. ( 1995, May 27). New life for an old river. The Straits Times, Life!, p. 40.

Further Readings
Mountbatten Community Centre opening souvenir magazine. (1981). Singapore: [Mountbatten Community Centre Management Committee].
(Call no.: RSING 300.95957 MOU)

Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Conservation guidelines: Our heritage is in our hands (Vol. 4). Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority
(Call no.: RSING 363.69095957 CON) 

List of Images
Mountbatten houses to be conserved [good pictures of the various styles of the bungalows]. (1993, August 5). The Straits Times, Life! p. 4.

The information in this article is valid as at 1999 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Street names--Singapore
Streets and Places
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places
Geography>>Population>>Urban Planning
Arts>>Architecture>>Residential buildings
People and communities>>Social groups and communities
Urban planning

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2005.