About the House
- 13-15 minutes to CBD by car, depending on traffic
- 20-25 minutes by public transport
Built in 1903, Shanshui House is one of several houses on Emerald Hill designed by esteemed local architect-designer Wee Teck Moh. The breathtaking facade features intricate plaster art, carved air vents, fanlight windows, and Malay-style fretted eaves. Eight gilded Chinese couplets adorn the first-floor windows from right to left, and an elaborately-carved pintu pagar, or swinging door (literally “fence door” in Malay) proudly shields the main entrance.
The interior of the house oozes tranquillity, with a cosy reception room quickly opening into a spacious courtyard. Light streams through the conserved Chinese sky-well, illuminating a gently flowing fountain surrounded by ornamental plasterwork. The home’s early century ceramic tile panels and finely carved timber arches and panels also feature floral and other naturalistic motifs. This stretch of houses on Emerald Hill was awarded official conservation status by URA in 1989, and this specific house received an award in 1994 commending its quality restoration work.
The house is named Shanshui after the Chinese characters 山 (shān) and 水 (shuǐ). These literally mean “mountain” and “water”. The home’s design and its studio names feature elements significant to traditional Chinese landscape painting, highlighting the beauty of living in harmony with nature. The home is also filled with Wu Guanzhong-esque landscape paintings from a Figment member’s private collection.
About the Neighbourhood
Emerald Hill is a tranquil residential oasis just off of downtown and Orchard Road. 313 Somerset, Lady M Cake Shop, and library@orchard are just some of the perks of living on this historic street.
Previously a nutmeg plantation, the area became a residential neighbourhood from the 1900s onwards. By the 1930s, much of the street was occupied by Straits Chinese families, descendants of early Chinese immigrants who married locals and settled in Southeast Asia.
The district was gazetted as a conservation area in 1989, allowing us to continue enjoying our beautiful architectural heritage.