6 Unconventional HDB Layouts That May Be Tricky For Your ID – Property Blog Singapore

Unconventional HDB Layout

Despite being a public housing scheme, HDB is surprisingly experimental; over the years they’ve come up with many ingenious designs. And uh… some that aren’t. While all of the following are perfectly functional, they may pose additional challenges, and give your interior designer a bit of a headache. Here are some of the layouts which you might be better off avoiding if you want an easier time with renovations:

A quick explainer on why we like squarish rooms

Much of the criticism here is centred around odd nooks and corners, and on circular or curved walls. While these can look novel (at first), they are challenging from an interior design perspective, and tend to be pricey.

The simple fact is that most building materials and furniture are manufactured in squarish shapes. Steel frames, countertops, flooring tiles, etc. are squarish. Bed frames and sofa sets are almost always rectangular. This is so intuitive, that even the sample tiles or fabrics are presented to us as squares.

So, when you have a curved interior, or one with a lot of angles, your contractor needs to make more measurements, cuts, and adjustments to get things flush against the walls. Floor tiles also tend to have more alignment problems, when your room has odd or circular shapes. Some contractors even charge extra if they need to do flooring for weird-shaped rooms.

For circular walls, you’re more likely to need custom furnishings, unless you’re happy to push a square desk or bed up against a curved wall. That will mean a waste of space behind the furniture, and the spot is a pain to clean. 

Also, circular rooms can create a “booming” effect (that’s why some concert halls and opera houses have curved walls). Great if you want to hear an orchestra; less so if you’re holding a dinner party and every conversation gets amplified.

Finally, twists and turns make a room less spacious, and are less conducive to natural lighting. Between a square 200 sq. ft. room, and a 150 sq. ft. room with a 50 sq. ft. corner, the square room will look and feel more spacious.

1. Goodview Gardens at Bukit Gombak (Blocks 393 to 395)

goodview gardens floorplan

The units in this project consist mainly of four and five-room flats. They were one of the replacement options for Hillview Avenue residents, whose homes underwent the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) in 2003. 

The 5-room flats here are a bit bigger than usual, as the typical size is between 107 to 113 sqm. However, the layout of the bedrooms is clunky and hard to work with. For unverifiable reasons*, all common bedroom windows were made to jut out at a bizarre 45-degree angle. 

This makes it harder to use the space efficiently, and obstructs some of the natural lighting. 

*We’re told the flat is close to Gombak Camp, which is a sensitive military area; so the windows are angled to look away from the hill.

As an aside, we found a similar design at blocks 11 to 15 on Farrer Park Road. The windows seem to be angled away from the Istana, perhaps for similar security reasons. Here, the layout is found in 3, 4, and 5-room flats. 

farrer park layout

2. Sembawang Blue Riverview (Blocks 468A to 468D)

sembawang blue riverview

This project has roomy 5-room flats at 118 sqm., as well as Executive flats at a generous 137 sqm. Unfortunately, the spaciousness is offset by the “pizza slice” configuration. 

The funnel-like shape makes it hard to position furniture, and something just feels off about a huge living room that tapers to a point. Visually, the layout is uncomfortable because it’s difficult to process where the centre of the living room is. Consider how awkward it would be to find a spot to centre the coffee table/sofa set. 

The space toward the tapering end easily looks cluttered, as it narrows down its length; but at the same time, it’s a lot of wasted square footage, if you leave it bare. 

3. Block 288A to 289G, Bukit Batok Street 25

Ninjay H Briotyon

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