This Converted Shophouse in Singapore is an Incredible Co-living Space
The iconic candy-colored terraced buildings along Singapore’s Koon Seng Road are steeped in history. Originally constructed by the Peranakans with storefronts on the ground floor and residential space above, the aptly named shophouses were outfitted with pastel hues and ornate details to represent the group’s vibrant culture. Now the festive 1920s facades are protected by conservation laws, allowing the country’s latest home trend to emerge.
Though most locals reside in government developments, a new company called Figment is popularizing co-living in converted shophouses. It enlists designers to modernize the interiors of the narrow yet deep structures to accommodate multiple independent occupants while maintaining the flamboyant exteriors. The result is a network of communal rentals that breathes contemporary life into Singapore’s treasured architecture.
In one renovation, Timo Wong and Pricilla Lui of Studio Juju intentionally juxtaposed a cheery bubblegum pink front with soothing natural decor. While the duo respects the street’s rich past, creating a contrast between the old and new was the ultimate goal. “None of the inside speaks to what you see on the outside,” Timo describes.
Upon entering, the transition to tranquility is immediately apparent. The shared kitchen is airy and white, with restored Carrara marble floors and globe-shaped pendants. Sleek Vitra .03 chairs in muted blues and greens complement the custom oak dining table, which features thick cylindrical legs and a long burnt-orange surface. “We wanted to communicate a sense of community, as well as sturdiness to support all the activity,” Timo explains.