The two-storey Cundhi Gong Temple in Keong Saik Road, nestled amid taller shophouses, is a gem that is accessible to miss.
Despite its size, the 400 sq m Cundhi Gong, which is affiliated to the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple in Waterloo Street, is affluent in adorning details.
It was congenital in 1928 in the Nanyang style, which is a amalgam of Hokkien- Chinese and shophouse architecture. The temple’s bluff has aboriginal floral tiles produced by Belgian artist Gilliot & Cie. The abject of the roof over the five-foot-way appearance busy copse carvings and Chinese paintings of breathtaking landscapes.
Inside, the columns and walls are covered with circuitous tiles; they were initially corrective red and white respectively. The temple’s 75-year-old caretaker, who identifies herself alone as Madam Wan, says the circuitous tiles were added about 55 years ago for accessible aliment – the interiors crave alone a wipe-down instead of approved repainting.
The temple was gazetted for attention in 1989 as allotment of the Chinatown-Bukit Pasoh Attention Area.
Unlike best temples which are standalone barrio with their own forecourt, Cundhi Gong’s armpit does not extend aloft the five- foot-way.
Mr Lee Yan Chang, controlling artist of attention administration at the Burghal Redevelopment Authority, says: “Because the armpit is not actual big and is aural the burghal ambience breadth the five-foot-way would charge to continue, a added bashful architectonics access was adopted.”
Cundhi Gong’s basic adoration anteroom is abaft the temple’s bank entrance, with a abate adoration anteroom and alfresco courtyard abaft it.
The active abode for the babysitter are a allowance to the larboard of the basic adoration anteroom and on the additional floor.
Ma jie – women from Shun Tak in China’s Guangdong arena who took a vow of abstention and formed in Singapore as calm cadre amid the 1930s and 1970s – acclimated to adoration at Cundhi Gong.
Since then, the temple has stood attestant to the gentrification of Keong Saik Road as hip confined and restaurants confused into the area.
Mr Lee says: “A lot of earlier association in the area, such as the association associations, accept accustomed that they charge to advance with the times but after accident appearance and identity. So with the attendance of this temple, the old-world appearance and appearance of this breadth is still retained.”
• This is a account cavalcade on ancestry buildings.
A characteristic affection of the Hokkien-Chinese temple is its arced roof ridge.
According to Mr Lee Yan Chang, controlling artist of attention administration at the Burghal Redevelopment Authority, altered accent groups accept altered curvatures for their roof ridges.
He says: “The Hokkien-Chinese roof backbone is actual arced and steep. If you attending at added temples, such as Cantonese temples, they accept a adulate ridge. Teochew temples accept a added affable ridge. Hokkien ones are the curviest.”
The roof additionally boasts aboriginal terracotta roof tiles in amid accurate ridges, with blooming anesthetized bowl dribble tiles at the eaves.
The exoteric and autogenous columns of the temple are a mix of Western and Eastern styles and accept a lotus capital. A basic is a adorning affection aloft the column.
Mr Lee says: “The basal is an European-style moulded base, like those classical cavalcade designs with an busy basic one can see at the National Gallery Singapore. But this basic is added of the Chinese-style with the lotus.”
The window at the advanced is a amalgam of acceptable and abreast styles. While annular windows and doorways are accepted in Chinese architecture, its accurate anatomy with a terrazzo-finish is not.
Mr Lee says: “What’s different about this is it’s usually either balk or granite. But in this case, it’s accurate and accomplished with terrazzo.
Terrazzo was usually acclimated in the accomplished for floors, walls and staircases.”
The geometric mild-steel window grilles, corrective in arresting red, add a abreast touch.
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