Monday, 1 July 2013

Walking down on Memory Lane - Holland Village (Kampong Holland)

It's been almost 17 years since I moved in my new block that built in 1996 after clearing the swampy areas along old Holland road, thus Holland Village was named after Holland road. This road was formerly named by an architect and an amateur actor, Hugh Holland in 1907 who was an early resident here. Over the years in 1972, Holland Close, Holland Avenue, Holland Drive was officially named. Holland Village comprises of the village's two well-known lanes that are Lorong Mambong and Lorong Liput and a section of Holland Avenue, which includes Holland Road Shopping Centre; and the lane, Jalan Merah Saga, within Chip Bee Gardens, which is across Holland Ave and the two above lanes nearby my block just one stone away from it. Legends has it as there are much more history to the old land along old Holland road via Hakka Cemetery.
Holland Village's windmill at the top of the building
Holland Village has its share of local visitors but its reputation as an expatriate enclave attracts possibly more foreigners than locals to its restaurants and pubs. Holland Road Shopping Centre is a landmark in Holland Village with its distinctive windmill at the top of the building.
Holland Village Shopping Mall
(shot by Hp Sony Ericssion)
There are two shopping centres - Holland Road Shopping centre and Holland V Shopping Mall which was referred as Holland Village Shopping centre by public as well as sales assistants who works there.
Holland Village is also a place where you can find a lot of expatriates shopping and pubbing. You can find a wide variety of antique, art, music, gifts and curio shops. There are also several fast food restaurants and different cuisine from Thai to French, are also found there. Many of the old shop houses have been conserved and renovated to give the place it's unique characteristics. Housing in this district is also popular with the expatriates. Popular pubs include Wala Wala, Tango's and La Luna.
Holland Village Mrt Station@Holland V
In early years, there was no Mrt stations in Holland areas till the site of Holland area built Buona Vista Mrt in early 1988 which officially opened in March 1988. Over the years in 2006, circle-line station took about 5 years construction until it opened on 8th Oct 2011. I took various photos during opening ceremony of circle-line stations with lots of activities and games.
Holland Village Market & Food Centre
There was once an oldest Kampong Market aka Holland Road Market & Food centre (pre-war market - photo inset) which is now known as 'Holland Village Market & Food Centre located at centre district of Holland Village.
Masjid Kampong Holland Mosque
Further down Holland V Market & Food centre, is Masjid Kampong Holland Mosque, this quaint little mosque nestled next to the carpark in Holland Village will be close by the end of this year, after operating for more than 40 years. The site that Kampong Holland Mosque sits on has for years been earmarked for redevelopment, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) made clear when it would have to make way. Slightly larger than a four-room of my unit (corridor) as if my unit is considered as 5-room unit becos of huge living hall plus dinning room and medium size kitchen.
The announcement was unexpectedly accompanied by a raft of measures - including the upgrading of the nearby Mujahidin Mosque - aimed at ensuring that the religious needs of the community will continue to be met. Muis said in a statement that it had been informed by the Housing Board that the mosque's Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) would not be extended beyond Dec 31, 2013. So make a visit to the Kampong Holland mosque before it closes.
I had a write-up about Masjid Kampong Holland's surrounding the mosque in my blog last year. Read up here.
Signage of Blk 12, 14 to 16 Holland Road
Behind the mosque among carpark area, once sat on the former site of SER block 14, 15, 16, 21 & 22. For blocks 14 to 16 already demolished between 2011 to 2013 respectively.  
Blk 15 & 16 (Demolished in 2012) - Then
Blk 15 & 16 (Demolished in 2012) - Now
Surrounded by carparks that lies the SIT Blocks 15 & 16 was boarded up in early 2012 and demolition on the same year. There were supermarket and a few shophouses along these blocks. I usually went to Blk 15 where there was a NTUC fairprice and it was small supermarket and two clinics that were once operated there. One of the clinics - Kee Clinic (opened in 1974) that operated at former Blk 15 on upper level of the block, now relocated at Blk 36 Holland Drive Buona Vista Community Centre before it demolished. Kee Clinic is owned by Dr Kenneth Kee who is a medical doctor since 1972 graduating from the University of Singapore and starts his own clinic in 1974 at Blk 15 Holland Avenue . At first, he worked in the Ear, Nose and Throat Department of Singapore General Hospital and the Anesthetic Department. He also worked in the Medical Department of Thomson Road General Hospital. He later worked as a locum doctor in a solo general practice and later in a group practice. Dr Kenneth Kee is still working as a family doctor at the age of 63.
However he has reduced his consultation hours to 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. He does not do any night duty since 2000 ever since his partner had his second stroke.
Blk 22 & 23 Holland Drive (to be demolished soon)
Behind the vacant site of Blk 14 to 16 Holland road (demolished 2012), is the remaining of the two blocks (21 & 22) waiting to be demolished.
Close-up of Blk 22 Holland Drive
Part of the window grilles taken down before demolition and it has been taken a long time for these two blocks because of the highrise building levels (30 floors).
Old Blk 14 Holland Avenue (Then)
(Shot by Hp Sony Ericsson in 2010)
This old block 14 Holland Avenue was more than 30 years, built in 1975 and yet time has come to be demolished in 2013.
Wall-painted at Blk 14 (demolished in 2013)
I managed to capture the wall-painted of Blk 14 Holland Avenue (built in early 1974) before it fenced up and demolished in early Jun 2013 and has been there almost 39 years.
Gate locked up at blk 14 (demolished)
The last demolition was blk 14 in early Jun 2013. Now left the remaining blocks - 11, 12 & 13 are still standing. As for block 18 &19 still under way demolish, as the windows grille of two blocks have been taken down which is clearly seen at these two blocks.
Blk 14 Holland Avenue (scaffolded) - Now
On going demolition at Blk 14 Holland Ave
Corner of Blk 14 Holland Avenue can be seen clearly as excavators tearing down one by one on each floor instead of using explosives. Imploding a building is very fast — the collapse itself only takes seconds. However, it would endanger onlookers and this can be pose a disastrous. Some demolitions have failed, severely damaging neighbouring structures. The most greatest danger is from flying debris which, when improperly prepared for, can kill onlookers. Safely is a must.
Excavator is seen above of the building
Taken from Blk 2 Holland Ave (HpSony Ecrisson LT18i)
Demolition underway at Blk 14 (Then)
After demolition at former Blk 14 (Now)
Along the Blk 12 Holland Ave, where you can see motorists moving in and out of the carpark, further down the road, the once stood Blk 14 Holland Ave is disappeared from sight along Holland Village.
Do you know there is infamous Blk 11 Holland Drive where the loanshark runner jumped from 13 floors to his death in 2011. Two plainclothes policemen visited Huang Jia Wei (age 32) in the wee hours of the morning at his home located at Blk 11, Holland Drive. It is said that the officers had approached Huang regarding an investigation on illegal moneylending activities. He and his family stayed for more than 20 years. Souces from: Sin Ming Daily news 2011.
(Shot by Hp Sony Ericssion)
Sushi Tei (formerly Food Junction)
Beside the Holland Village Shopping mall, there was once a foodcourt - Food Junction (Established since 1993) where there were varieties of yummy foods - char kway teow, chicken rice, drinks and others and was the first to open at Holland VIllage since early 2000.
Close-up Sushi Teh
In late 2008, Food Junction is closed and is now occupied by Sushi Tei (Japanese restaurant) since. I used to frequent the foodcourt as they were given a free tissue paper pack when paying a drink from the staff whom I had known her since. She opened her own stall at Blk 31A selling 'Rozak' till it closed for a year because of high rental fee.
Holland Village Food Court
After closing Food Junction despite of completion from other foodcourts, just next to Holland V foodcourt and Holland Village Market and Food centre. As you can see behind Holland Village Foodcourt (HVFC) was the former Blk 14 Holland Ave stood.
Many foreigners and local residents of Holland V still very much love this cool and entertainment places where there are variety of pubs as well as fastfoods and restaurants days and nights. Gone were the days, when Holland Village aka Kampong Holland has been changed over the years.


  1. Hello there. By any chance, do you know the history of the land at Holland Drive? Particularly the compound of Blk 18A-18D. I know the carpark opposite these newly erected HDBs used to be a swimming complex. Can't find out much from the net about that land though. Please help if you can! :) Thanks.

    1. Hi Amalina
      The area of blk18A-18D used to be a villages in the past with two old blocks still stand today and there is a building next to new blocks that used to have a "dance" studio in this building. Apart from the old blocks within Buona Vista swimming complex that demolished that was once an "NTUC" supermarket, clinics and low housing block that next to the existing carpark.