SINGAPORE — Recently, a new HDB project in Tampines has raised eyebrows among citizens due to its red tiles and paint that create a spooky atmosphere when the corridor lights are on at night.
A TikToker shared a video of the interior of Block 640B on Tampines Street 62, which is part of Tampines GreenVines, and used the hashtag “unacceptable” to describe the red-themed design.
Some TikTokers have criticized the red-themed design, with some comparing it to red light district while others expressed concern that residents will feel scared entering the compound at night.
After receiving complaints from residents via social media, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng, also an MP for Tampines GRC, stated that he agreed the colour scheme was inappropriate with the lighting at night and had discussed the matter with HDB, who are looking into it.
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.
HDB says it will paint some of the red walls white to “tone it down”
On Tuesday night, the ceilings of the block’s lift lobbies, which were initially painted red, were painted white. The walls and floor of the lift lobby, as well as the letterbox area, are still covered in red tiles.
An HDB spokesman told the Straits Times(ST) that they will paint some of the red walls white to “tone it down”. It will also do so for the other blocks in the BTO project.
In a Facebook post today(2 March), Mr Baey confirmed that HDB has already repainted the ceilings white, which has made the lobby a lot brighter.
“Earlier photos circulating on social media showed a rather dim lobby. I think it was because illumination from the down lights was absorbed by the previously red ceiling. ”
Mr Baey expressed his personal disagreement with hacking the tiles and suggested painting them as a last resort to avoid wasting public resources.
Mr Baey shared that the resident Telegram group conducted a straw poll with residents of the yellow blocks and found that 70% of them are now okay with the yellow lift lobbies. He believed that some residents found the unconventional design of the yellow lift lobbies attractive after seeing them in person, beyond the initial shock and unfamiliarity.
He also suggested standardizing the designs across other colour blocks and repainting their ceilings in white.
“It is not uncommon for new projects to have teething issues. I urge residents to share their feedback with the Building Services Centre/HDB, which will definitely do their best to address them. I am happy to be involved and help resolve any major problems,” Mr Baey said.
Netizens poked fun at HDB’s red-themed flat idea
The red-themed HDB flat in Tampines has sparked a heated online discussion, with some residents expressing disapproval of the design choice.
While some have agreed that the red theme is an inappropriate choice for a residential area, others have commented on ST’s Facebook post to poke fun at the idea.
“Who will paint his house all red?”
“Not good for mental health well-being”
A netizen has expressed concern about the impact of the recently completed red-themed block in Tampines on residents’ well-being.
The netizen noted that after a long and tiring day at work, returning home to a “bloody/scary/red environment” may be unpleasant and potentially detrimental to one’s mental health.
Another individual has suggested that a showroom should have been set up to test the design of the recently completed red-themed block in Tampines.
He noted that a professional team, including staff, team leaders, and top management, should have consulted appropriate professionals and obtained sign-off before finalizing the design.