The first flats of Hougang, or commonly pronounced as ow gang, were established at around 1980. Many 3-room and 4-room flats were built for the re-location of the farmers and fishermen living in the kampong at Kangkar.
Kangkar used to be located near the present-day Punggol Park and Serangoon Secondary School, along Sungei Serangoon. It was also where the long Upper Serangoon Road ended, before it was extended to Sengkang New Town after the mid-nineties.
By 1985, with the acquisition of the land at Kangkar by the government, the villagers gradually moved into the newly completed flats nearby.
The early designs of the flats were almost identical. One particular flat, Blk 316 of Hougang Ave 7, stands out among the rest as it was painted with a huge spectacular rainbow that easily catches the eyes of the passersby. The cheerful looking rainbow usually brings a smile to anyone walking or driving past the block.
The cluster of flats at Hougang Ave 7 are mostly painted with certain vibrant colours, but the symbolic gigantic rainbow can be found only on the block of 316.
Rainbows seem to be a favourite theme to be painted on HDB flats in the east of Singapore. Block 609 of Bedok Reservoir Road also has three beautiful rainbows painted on it.
The early textbook of Social Studies figured a photo of the Hougang Rainbow Flat when it was first built. Notice that the design of the rainbow was different from the current one.
Find out more about the designs of other HDB murals.
Published: 02 November 2010
Updated: 23 March 2014