Taman Jurong “H-Shaped” JTC Flats

Anyone passing by Corporation Road some time between 2011 and 2012 would have noticed some derelict blocks of flats abandoned in a quiet neighbourhood. Those were the Yung Ping/Yung Kuang flats.

A total of six flats, Block 5 to 10, stood here at the residential district of Taman Jurong. Built in the early seventies by the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), the blocks were grouped in pairs, serviced by common lifts, link bridges and corridors. From the top view, it looked as though the blocks were in the shape of the letter H.

It was a display of how rapid urban decay could occur to an abandoned estate. The blocks were en-bloc in 2006, under the Housing Development Board’s (HDB) Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). With the last residents moved out in 2010, the blocks of flats fell into disrepair within a year. Nature soon took over the flats, with ferns growing out of the cracks on the walls and pipes and window grilles rapidly eroded by rust.

Before 1961, Jurong was a land of swamps, jungles, farms and small kampongs. The industrialisation of Jurong took place in the sixties, but in its early stage, it had trouble attracting workers as the vast area of rural lands had no electricity, telephone lines and running water. Accessibility was an issue too; it would take hours to travel to Jurong, mainly via Bukit Timah Road.

In order to provide convenience for the workers, JTC started to build housing estates within the Jurong vicinity, with the employers encouraging their workers to move into these estates subsidised by housing allowances. In 1964, Taman Jurong became the first estate established in Jurong to cater for the growing population. Boon Lay Gardens, Teban Gardens and Pandan Gardens followed in the next few years.

The 40-year-old abandoned Yung Ping/Yung Kuang Road flats were one of the few remaining groups of JTC flats today. Most of the other JTC flats were demolished in the past two decades. Like the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) flats, the management of the JTC flats were handed over to HDB in 1982.

Read about other en-bloc flats in Singapore.

Published: 03 October 2012

Updated: 07 August 2013

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48 Responses to Taman Jurong “H-Shaped” JTC Flats

  1. elroygoh02 says:

    These flats are really unique! Did people hang out clothes?

  2. Miram says:

    I didn’t know these flats still remain! I used to grew up in these neighbourhood and attended my primary sch nearby, It really brings back so much memories of growing up. Is it completely seal up?

  3. Great memories! according to 1 of my old friend, Taman Jurong used to be lively with pasar malems in the 80s.
    Btw, the diamond blks opposite these blks has been given a new life!

  4. sgdevilzz says:

    Are these block of flats still there? i want to visit!

  5. aliogoi says:

    Stayed in one of the blocks here. They are now deserted and creepy. This H-style blocks can be found in Boon Lay (some upgrading done many years back) and Sembawang (probably gone now). Many fond memories of this place. The residents here now resettled in the Kang Ching / Tah Ching Roads area. When my late dad bought it in early 70’s, it cost less than 10K. The hall was big – much bigger than current 3 rm flats. The nearby 4-rm blks 103, 105, etc. have been demolished. So sad to see this place changing but still it is not as bad as other estates – crowded, noisy ….

  6. mtrdone says:

    i stayed here for almost 20 years before we have to move out. taman jurong may be isolated and neglected compared to other estates but i love this peaceful place.

  7. nicrome says:

    there was one such block at sembawang. torn down in early 2000s. Now they are building a new BTO there.
    Could you investigate? It was beside the sembawang CC

  8. iskandar says:

    are these blocks still up? my grandma’s sis used to live there before passing on

  9. ali ogoi says:

    Yes still there. Dont know for how long though. The nearby residents stil use the open car park there. Very quiet now with no residents.

  10. annoymous says:

    now demolition

  11. EMF says:

    I am here now. Blks 9-10 are fully demolished. The lifts for blks 7-8 are demolished already and the blocks are about to begin demolition. Blks 5-6 are still not demolished yet

  12. ali ogoi says:

    just passed into the old car park between blk 9-10 and 7-8. as mentioned blks 9-10 are just rubbles and debris now. my old blk still intact but should be gone soon. glad that they retain some of the angsana trees. drove around Taman Jurong – still has that atmosphere with places like the old cinema, jurong ice skating rink, the big field near market no 1 and behind mcdonalds drive-in, the rows of casuarinas along yuan ching rd, the old jurong town pr sch etc. but for how long before the spirit is gone …

  13. Pat says:

    Besides being more spacious & logically-planned in the interior, JTC’s flat designs are also more interesting & varied-looking on the exterior, as well as offer more residential privacy than HDB’s designs during the same period (1960s – 1970s).

    For instance, even amongst 3-room flats, JTC’s designs tended to minimize or even totally avoid having common corridors. Examples of such corridor-free 3-room flats include Blk 2 – 11 (to be demolished very soon due to SERS) & Blk 33 – 38 of Teban Gardens.

    In addition, unlike HDB-designed slab-blocks of the equivalent period, many of JTC’s designs also avoided having void decks. Instead, ground-floor flats (separate units on each facade of the slab-block) look out to grass verges.

    As a result, most of these ground-floor residents like cultivating their own mini-garden (some including up to 3 tall trees such as Tamarind & Petai) right at their door-step. The latter is meant in the literal sense — in certain JTC designs, all of the ground-floor flats have kitchen doors that lead to the outdoors (eg. Blk 8 & 9 at Teban Gardens), such that one can walk from the kitchen straight into one’s garden.

    What a pity it is that such creatively & thoughtfully-designed flats are no longer being built, but instead increasingly being demolished.

  14. aliogoi says:

    Confirm Blks 5-10 of Yung Kuang Rd have been demolished. Drove by the car park with my mum to see the remnants. Sad to see the place go . . . one of the last remaining JTC flats and a reminder of what Taman Jurong used to be. Luckily the old Jurong Town Pri Sch and the cinema are still around. Took some photos of Blk 8 . . . hope they keep some of the trees around here.

  15. Kelvin says:

    Jurong still have a H shape flat

  16. This provision shop’s old signboard certainly looks as old as the Boon Lay Drive housing estate itself, which was probably built in the mid-70s

  17. His Excellency says:

    One of the first school there was Jurong Town Primary School, opened in 1968, which was the school of choice for those early settlers of Jurong Town around present Taman Jurong area… The school building is still there but the school closed down and merged with 2 other neighbouring pri school to form Lakeside Primary School in 2003. Too bad the name of Jurong Town Primary is no longer used.

  18. raymond koh says:

    I remember these flats when i was living in Blk 103, Tao Ching Road. had to deal with the aging lifts and remembering which block is the correct one to get home as there were usually at least 4 blocks with the same number, but different lift letters and unit numbers. Also at that time, they do not differentiate lift letters on the block numbers like the current new flats [158A, 158B etc]. Brings back memories…

  19. 365days2play says:

    I can’t quite get the perspective of the 1st picture, that seems like the kitchen area (based on how the older hdb flats always have their kitchens jutting out), but yet there are corridors? And the corridors look open to the elements.

  20. aliogoi says:

    Those are the stair cases jutting out .. not kitchens. I know bec I stayed there for more that 10 years.

  21. 365days2play says:

    Erm not those staircases. If you see the 3rd picture, are those kitchens or living rooms?

  22. aliogoi says:

    Oh the third pic shows the bathroom and the sink area. The kitchen is just besides it. Even the bathroom is partitioned. In a way, this 3-room is much bigger and better designed than the 3-room HDB flats of the same era. The hall is damned big and so are the 2 rooms. I lived on uppermost floor thus have a bit of space in front of the gate. No long common corridors here.

  23. 365days2play says:

    So the corridors face the kitchen area??? Would be hard to take the lift on a rainy day huh…

  24. J.Lim says:

    I used to stay in Blk 5 Yung Ping Road. I felt relieved that I made a trip down before the flats were demolished 3 months ago. My childhood memories were at Yung Ping Road and its sad to see these flat gone.

  25. Ashraf says:

    planning to visit vacated en-bloc flats for photography…..any idea which aren’t demolished yet?

  26. aliogoi says:

    all gone now. only left is a flat grassy patch … at least a few of trees are preserved … sad … i used to live there …

  27. Edwin says:

    Memories….I lived in Blk 6 and courted my wife there when I was just 18 :). Now my kids are already 15 years old.

  28. Dennis says:

    Thanks for rekindling the memories.
    The unique but demolished drive in cinema was a key feature of Taman Jurong.
    The early ‘settlers’ there are the pioneers of Singapore’s industrialisation.

  29. Rachel Arputharajoo says:

    i used to go to Jurong Town Primary School from 1972-1974. Used to live just five minutes away. Our block, the ground floor had a centre for disabled people, I believe polio. Anyone remember? It was right next to the market

  30. aliogoi says:

    I believe it was Blk 19. The `low’ flats with a court in front. I left JTPS in 1971. Fond memories of the sch and the no 1 market besides it. There was the kids fav pineapple water with real pineapple there.

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