#5 & #7 Gallop Road

Happy Place, Happy Space

Daughters and I spent a couple of happy hours visiting the Forest Discovery Centre (#5) & Botanical Art Gallery (#7) on Friday.

Walking on the grounds of the new Gallop extension of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, we were transported to a different time and place. Built more than 100 years ago (#5 in 1898, #7 in 1892), the British owners landscaped the grounds in the style of the English Landscape movement, recreating a home away from home.

View of #5 from the grounds of #7

From walking through both buildings, I learned that the architect of both houses, Regent Alfred John Bidwell, adapted the design of a Victorian house to our hot & humid climate, creating the black and white bungalow, with features that maximised air flow (to counter the heat & humidity) as well as took into account the local environment (flash floods, termites). We have him to thank for many of these iconic bungalows still in existence today.

Although the exhibits housed in both buildings were interesting (what’s not to love about 400 year old botanical illustrations), I was more fascinated by the rooms themselves.

The architect borrowed from the Malay tradition of building on stilts. These stilt arches are low hanging as Petite Younger Daughter demonstrates.

I imagined the ascent up the main staircase into the foyer as a guest visiting, afternoon tea served in the airy verandah as I lounged in the low teak chairs, or perhaps cocktails in the large drawing room. I will have to return to pay more attention the books, prints and other displays.

Our photo souvenir from #5 Gallop Road: Forest Discovery Centre, a takeaway from an interactive exhibit

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Reading your Joyful Posts brings me to my happy place. I hope having them in one place makes it easier for you to find when you need a bit of happy therapy, too.

If you would like to join in, ping back to this post and I will include you next week.

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Notes:

  • The lead photo is #7 Gallop Road: Botanical Art Gallery.

27 Comments

  1. Such beautiful buildings! I like the black and white contrast and the red tiled roof. The archways are visually attractive. Thank you, Ju-Lyn, for the mention and for sharing this at #WeekendCoffeeShare.

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    1. Thank you for appreciating their beauty & distinctiveness along with me, Natalie – these B&W houses are a beloved part of the Singapore housing stock.

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    1. It is rather fun! I’m wondering if they have different backgrounds which they rotate …. we tried it several times on this visit and it came out the same each time.

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    1. This B&W architecture is very distinctive and special in Singapore too.

      It is a fun souvenir from the visit – there is a exhibit which allows visitors to take this photo and email it to themselves!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! What a nice place. Also, thank you for including my post in your joyful post. Keep safe and more adventures to go 😊✨

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  3. I have not seen this hidden gem in the gardens. I live this architecture and it would be a cool place to sit and sip a cool drink under those arches. Singapore is this wonderful blend of East and western influences!
    Thanks for the pingback link, Ju-Lyn and for participating once again in Friendly Friday.

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    1. What a lovely idea, Amanda – those arches are quite a fun place with an air of mystery, given the low ceilings and hidden turns. They have cleverly converted some of this space into a workshop for the conservation staff, as well as built a couple of terrariums for display.

      This whole Gallop area was closed off to the public for a long time. One might have been able to spot these houses from Gallop road, but would certainly not have been able to access the grounds.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Is it a coincidence or a conspiracy that I’ve seen this new Gallop extension twice today?! My good friend Lisa also posted a picture of this wonderful Black&White bungalow.

    Although I’ve visited the SG Botanical Gardens a few times, I don’t remember seeing this bungalow. Maybe because I would normally be wet puddle, melted down just outside of the orchid gardens 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The opening of this Gallop extension has caused quite a buzz in these weeks – fans of the Gardens have been waiting eagerly for this occasion; which is perhaps why we Singaporeans have been posting like crazy.

      This extension is a ways away from the Orchid Garden (I completely empathise with the wet puddle, still melting) – and even if you ventured to Gallop Road, you might have only spotted these bungalows in the distance as there would have been no access to the public, till now.

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