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The South Beach (Former Beach Road Camp)


Block 30 Beach Road Singapore 189763, Block 34 Beach Road Singapore 189765, Block 36 Beach Road Singapore 189766
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Former Beach Road Camp

Former Beach Road Camp was a prominent military camp situated where The South Beach stands today. Built in the 1930s, the camp served as headquarters for home-grown military forces for recruitments, training, and mobilisation. Three of the buildings from the former camp have been conserved.

Block 1, the oldest of the four blocks, was once an armoury for weapons storage. It features a unique triple arched entrance, circular fanlights and timber louvred windows with an asymmetrical façade.

Block 9 was the main three-storey building of the Former Beach Road camp was known as the drill hall and was designed by architect Frank Dorrington Ward, who also designed Clifford Pier. Officially opened by Sir Cecil Clementi on 4 March 1933, it housed the headquarters for the Singapore Volunteer Corps and the Straits Settlement Volunteer Force (SSVF). Block 9 features a column-free barrel-vault interior characterised by its long, vertical ornamental window and metallic gates at the side. It was designed originally with a SSVF badge above the entrance.

Block 14, a brick and plaster building, was designed to be symmetrical with the main door and porch facing Beach Road. The block first functioned as quarters for the Malay companies of the Singapore Volunteer Corps (SVC).

In addition, the former Non-Commissioned Officers’ (NCO) Club has been conserved. Built in 1952-53, the former NCO Club was fitted with a dance floor, beer tavern, billiard rooms, restaurants, table-tennis rooms, card game rooms, music rooms, porch garden, a barber shop, lounges and a double terraced veranda overlooking the Nuffield swimming pool. It was a popular recreational club for warrant officers and specialists.

Camp closure

When Singapore gained independence in 1965, the SVC was renamed the People’s Defence Force (PDF). Block 14 was converted into a HQ building for the PDF. In 1967, compulsory conscription began and part-time servicemen enrolled into the PDF, the Vigilante Corps or the Special Constabulary To support the evolving Singapore Armed Forces, in 1997, the PDF was reorganised into operational battalions—1 PDF at Maju camp and 2 PDF at Beach Road camp and later to Clementi camp. During the move, a pair of original historic gates was also moved to the Force’s new home. The camp was officially closed in 2000.

Conservation status

In 2002, former Beach Road camp blocks 1, 9, 14 and the former NCO were gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Five years later in 2007, South Beach Consortium won the tender for the site and developed The South Beach. The mixed-use development houses offices, luxury residences, retail shops, as well as a designer hotel with club facilities. The rich heritage of the site remains within the conserved historical buildings.

This is a conserved building(s) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), please visit URA’s Get Directions Conservation Portal for more details.

The South Beach is a development comprising four conserved historical buildings—Former Beach Road Camp Blocks 1, 9, 14, and the Non-Commissioned Officers’ (NCO) Club—and two new towers.

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