Mondrian-inspired design was top pick of Teck Whye Avenue residents


The HDB blocks in Teck Whye with a red, blue and yellow mosaic pattern, reminiscent of abstract artist Piet Mondrian's works. The paint job was completed earlier this month.ST PHOTOS: DEREK WONG, ALVIN HO

When it came time for residents in Teck Whye Avenue to choose a new colour for their HDB blocks last June, they were presented with three choices: a white and brown combination with a geometric pattern; a plain white scheme with purple and maroon highlights; and one quite unlike any other HDB design.

The third option was a red, blue and yellow mosaic reminiscent of famous abstract artist Piet Mondrian.

The design was so bold even the MP for the area, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, had second thoughts.

He said he was "initially quite concerned about this bold idea, as it was not the usual colours".

"But since the residents were supportive in trying it out, I supported it and it turned out well," he added.

An overwhelming 75 per cent of residents who voted chose the look over two other options. The eye-catching paint job was then completed earlier this month.

The idea for the colours came after brainstorming and discussion involving many parties.

Mr Clarence Tan, Chua Chu Kang Town Council general manager, said: "Officers from the town council, the residents' committees and the paint specialists worked together to think outside the box to provide this unique colour scheme as an option."

HDB blocks are repainted every seven years as part of repair and redecoration works.

In 2016, The Straits Times reported that the turnout rate of residents voting for their favourite shades has been going up, and is now between 30 per cent and 40 per cent.

"It is very valuable to include residents' opinions as was done in this case, because these art works and designs will be part of their everyday life and, even more importantly, relate to the residents' perceptions of home," said research fellow Minna Valjakka, who is with the National University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute and specialises in art history.

Such efforts are among new initiatives to foster the sense of community in HDB estates.

Last month, HDB introduced "thematic playgrounds" that pay homage to a neighbourhood's heritage. One of them at Eastbank@ Canberra in Sembawang features a double-decker ship, from which children can "sail" through the seven seas, a reference to the town's past as a former naval base.

Madam Hasmah Misdawi and her granddaughter Nawra Balqis with one of the Vincent van Gogh-inspired paintings at the void deck of their Teck Whye block.ST PHOTOS: DEREK WONG, ALVIN HO

Teck Whye Avenue resident Hasmah Misdawi, 60, who lives at Block 1, is pleased with the injections of colour.

"It is really nice. The drawings look lively and depict a nice, happy life," she said.

Her granddaughter, Nawra Balqis, five, said: "I really like the red colour."

The positivity generated by the painting is another filip for the area.

In February, Build-To-Order flats in the Teck Whye View project were the most popular, with more than seven applicants vying for a unit.


This story was first published on The Straits Times. Click here to read the original story.