A distinctive heritage house in Singapore, NUS Baba House offers a captivating look into a rich history and is well worth visiting when in the Lion City.
Planning a Visit
This site is located at 157, Neil Road in the Blair Plain historic district close to properties like D’Hotel Singapore. For those based at such well-located Tiong Bahru hotels, Singapore sightseeing adventures can be easily enjoyed, and this site is only around a 5-minute taxi ride away, while the Outram Park MRT Station is nearby. Keep in mind that visits to NUS Baba House are only by appointment.
A Bit of History
A three-storey townhouse, NUS Baba House originally dates to the 1890s and was the ancestral home of the Wee family, a Peranakan Chinese family. In 2006, the National University of Singapore (NUS) acquired it and a year later, a restoration project was undertaken to preserve this heritage house; today, it offers insights into a Peranakan home as well as the aesthetics and culture of the time.
Those who have reserved a visit, or a guided tour of this site have much to look forward to. On the ground floor, you will find an open courtyard as well as a reception hall, kitchen and ancestral hall which will give you an idea of where the daily family activities took place. On the second floor, are the more private spaces such as the master bedroom, while the third floor is used for exhibitions worth seeing as well.
Within the NUS Baba House, you will find all manner of objects used at the time and these constitute what is known as the Straits Chinese Collection; it encompasses Peranakan antiques, ornamental objects and many other items on the first two floors. These include paintings, wood carvings, textiles, furniture, photographs, ceramics, costumes, books and more.