The red lift lobbies at the Tampines GreenVines HDB project have been making headlines recently, with visitors and residents expressing discomfort with the design. Some people have even called it spooky and eerie, especially when the corridor lights are on at night.
On February 28, a TikToker shared a video clip showing the interior of Block 640B on Tampines Street 62, which featured red tiles on the walls and floor, as well as red paint and lighting.
The video went viral, with many people criticizing the red-themed design and using the hashtag “unacceptable.”
Some TikTokers have compared the red-themed design to a red light district, while others expressed concern that residents may feel scared entering the compound at night.
According to online information, the Tampines GreenVines project opened for application in 2018 and has a total of 11 blocks and 1,271 units. Each block in the estate is divided into different colours, namely yellow, blue, and red.
The red-themed block is Block 640B on Tampines Street 62.
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In response to the controversy, Mr Baey Yam Keng, the MP for Tampines GRC, visited the location last night to see the lobby for himself.
He reported that HDB had already taken steps to address the concerns by repainting the ceilings white, which has made the lobby much brighter than before. HDB also plans to repaint some of the red walls white to further brighten the space.
While some residents have expressed discomfort with the red lobby, Mr Baey stated that he does not support hacking the tiles as it would be a waste of public resources.
Instead, he believes that painting the tiles when necessary would be a more appropriate solution. He also mentioned that residents’ personal preferences for lobby colors are subjective and cannot be easily changed.
During his site visit in December, Mr Baey shared photos of the yellow lift lobbies, which some residents did not like, while others found the cheerful and retro look appealing.
However, a straw poll conducted by the resident Telegram group revealed that 70% of residents are now okay with the yellow lift lobbies. Mr Baey believes that sometimes, beyond the initial shock, people can get used to unconventional designs over time.
Mr Baey commended the designers for trying something different and creating a distinctive look for the BTOs.
He believes that HDB will now need to standardize the designs across other color blocks, which means that all the ceilings may be repainted in white.
Mr Baey also addressed concerns about the safety of the floor tiles in the red lift lobby.
He initially had concerns that the tiles might be slippery when wet, but HDB showed him a certificate indicating that the tiles had passed the anti-slip test. Upon closer inspection, Mr Baey noted that the floor tiles were different from the glossy wall tiles and should not be any more slippery than other floor surfaces.
Mr Baey notes that teething issues are not uncommon in new projects and urged residents to share their feedback with the Building Services Centre/HDB, which will do its best to address them.
He also expressed his willingness to help resolve any major problems and looked forward to meeting and knowing new residents of Tampines GreenVines as they collect their keys to their new homes in the coming months.