Shophouse Pride
MEN 'S FOLIO Singapore|September 2020
Shophouse Pride
A dedicated love for shophouses is how CEO and co-founder of Figment, Fang Wei Low is knocking out his co-living competitors.
Fang Wei Low

“Oh my. What a total knock-out. A complete stunner! I spotted her on a drive past the corner of a block and I couldn’t help but gawk out of the windshield of my car. Judging by the number of heads being turned, she has most definitely caused a few accidents by now.”

All dressed up in beautiful green and purple lace-like frills with a smashing red outline bordering some classic Chinese motifs — my favorite Sim Kwong Ho shophouse in the Balestier neighborhood, done up in the “Singapore Eclectic” style.

You might spot the freshly painted neon green shophouse just down the road that almost glows in the dark. Or, high up on Emerald Hill, you might have already glimpsed the stripy shophouse that looks like it came out of a Paul Smith catalog.

Feel free to ask the tourists snapping away at the pastel-colored Grand Dames on Joo Chiat, and yes, they will tell you that our Singapore shophouses are that sensational. I am also guessing that you have probably been on a night out on Club Street or Keong Saik Road, all decked out with shophouses along the way.

These are not mere mortals. Many have now been conferred conservation status by our urban warriors at the URA and immortalized to stand the test of time — the epitome of timeless fashion that dates back to before our nation’s independence.

However, did you know that you could actually live in them? Residential shophouses are pretty rare and I have painstakingly counted 857 throughout the whole of Singapore which is not too different from browsing a limited edition Supreme catalogue.

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September 2020