They look like giant unwrapped candies but are actually houses. In Singapore, the city of the future, there is a street that has stood still over time and which competes with the land of toys.
The CANDY HOUSES
# Candy houses
Understanding why these houses have been nicknamed “Candy Houses” is not difficult, looking from afar these houses look like real giant candies that can be unwrapped and eaten.
We are in Singapore, an island city-state south of Malaysia, a country that has actually always stood out for futuristic skyscrapers and state-of-the-art transport.
Yet there is a place, in the middle of this modern city, that has stood still in time, turning towards a world that seems almost a fairy tale.
# The history of colorful houses
The colorful houses of Singapore represent the last bastion of the Peranakan culture, a people descendant of the first Chinese immigrants who settled in the British colonies from the straits to Malacca, Penang and Singapore.
Finding the traces of this culture it’s pretty easy: you have to go to a small crossroads of the busy Orchard Road, a long tree-lined avenue where skyscrapers and trendy shopping centers line up.
A few steps from modern Singapore is in fact the Emerald Hill Road, a small street lined with two-storey houses, built at the end of the 19th century by the members of this community.
Singapore has always been characterized by its futuristic look, but in the last time it seems to show the will to protect and transform these architectural examples in symbols of tradition, lost in this modern world.
For this reason, if between the ’70s and ’90s almost half of the old city of Singapore was demolished, now a great restoration of the old stores of the city is taking place.
# What remains today
What remains today of the Peranakan culture is a unique landscape of its kind.
The street contains all two- and three-storey stores, designed to contain small businesses on the ground floor and living spaces above.
Each dwelling has its own color: from pink or pastel green to fiery red. There are colorful ceramics on the walls, the doors are carved with stunning patterns and all the houses are fully decorated.
When you walk down this street, the houses look like candy and you feel like you are in Toyland.