Taman Jurong

Located to the west of Jurong Lake, Taman Jurong is part of the larger Jurong West housing estate. It was developed in 1964 to house the workers and the families of the nearby industrial areas. Taman means “garden” in Malay, suggesting that Taman Jurong was meant to be a housing estate in a garden, as a contrast to the adjacent heavy industries.

The area that we now know as Taman Jurong was bounded by Jalan Peng Kang and Sungei Jurong (part of which was later redeveloped as Jurong Lake). The road name of Jalan Peng Kang refers to the larger area of Jurong, which was known to the Chinese as peng kang (秉江). Today, Jalan Peng Kang has been renamed, and Jurong is no longer referred to as Peng Kang anymore. There was also a Kampong Sungei Atap, and a Chin Bee Road (振美路) leading to it. Both the kampong and the road were displaced by the development of Taman Jurong. Today, Chin Bee Road runs within the industrial area to the West of Taman Jurong.

Initially, all the names in Taman Jurong were numbered, from Taman Jurong 1 to Taman Jurong 12 (skipping 11), while the main road running through the estate was just named Taman Jurong. In 1970, the even numbered roads were renamed “(something) Ching Road”, describing sceneries and possibly referring to the “garden” in Taman Jurong, while the odd numbered roads were renamed “Yung (something) Road”, describing eternal progress. More specifically, the roads were renamed (in order from 1 to 12) Yung Loh Road (永乐路, Chinese for “eternal happiness”), Yuan Ching Road (园景路, Chinese for “garden scenery”), Yung Ping Road (永平路, Chinese for “eternal calmness”), Hu Ching Road (湖景路, Chinese for “lake scenery”), Yung Kuang Road (永光路, Chinese for “eternal light”), Tao Ching Road (岛景路, Chinese for “island scenery”), Yung Sheng Road (永升路, Chinese for “eternal rise”), Ho Ching Road (河景路, Chinese for “river scenery”), Yung An Road (永安路, Chinese for “eternal safety”), Shan Ching Road (山景路, Chinese for “mountain scenery”), and Tah Ching Road (塔景路, Chinese for “pagoda scenery”) respectively. Segments of Taman Jurong and Taman Jurong 2 were also restructured as Yung Ho Road (永和路, Chinese for “eternal peace”). The road names describing sceneries might be referring to the Jurong Lake (and within it, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens) which was also being developed at that time. The main Taman Jurong road was also renamed Corporation Drive, while the adjacent Jalan Peng Kang was renamed Corporation Road. Shan Ching Road was subsequently expunged, and a new road named Kang Ching Road (岗景路, Chinese for “ridges scenery”) was added. Corporation Walk and Corporation Rise were also built, serving the landed properties.

Yung An Primary School
Constructed: 1977
Status: Found

Yung An Primary School 01
Yung An Primary School

Yung An Primary School was set up in 1977, and occupied the premises of Boon Lay Garden Primary School at Boon Lay Avenue (where River Valley High School is now) in its first year. Its school building was completed for the 1978 academic year, together with the adjacent Merlimau Primary School and Yuan Ching Secondary. The three schools shared a common school field.

Both Yung An Primary and Merlimau Primary share the same building design; the same design was also used for a few other schools, such as Westlake Primary and Ghim Moh Primary (both built one year earlier).

In 2003, Yung An Primary and Merlimau Primary merged with the nearby Jurong Town Primary to form Lakeside Primary School. The school is now situated at the junction of Corporation Road and Corporation Drive. The vacated Yung An Primary building then served as the temporary premises of various groups, such as Singapore Autism School, Yuan Ching Secondary (while its new building was being constructed), Jurong Christian Church and Calvary Bible-Presbyterian Church.

Merlimau Primary School
Constructed: 1977
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2006

The history of Merlimau Primary School extends beyond that of Taman Jurong. It was set up in 1966 on Pulau Merlimau (now reclaimed as part of Jurong Island) as Pulau Merlimau Primary. In 1978, it shifted over to Taman Jurong, and “pulau” was dropped from its name. After the merger with Yung An Primary and Jurong Town Primary, the premises of Merlimau Primary was taken over by Yuan Ching Secondary, and the school building was demolished to make way for a school building for the latter.

Yuan Ching Secondary School
Constructed: 1977
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2006

Along with the school building of Merlimau Primary, the original buildings of Yuan Ching Secondary were demolished in 2006 to make way for a larger campus. During the reconstruction from 2006 to 2008, the school occupied the vacated campus of the adjacent Yung An Primary.

Although the school was named after the adjacent road in English, its Mandarin name took a different form. Rather than called yuan jing (园景), the school is known by the similar-sounding name of yun qing (耘青). This name is supposed to refer to the notion of “efforts” and “rewards”, more befitting for the school than the scenery of gardens as depicted by the road name.

Taman Jurong Cinema
Status: Found

Taman Jurong Cinema 01
Taman Jurong Cinema

Taman Jurong Cinema was one of the earliest modes of entertainment for the estate, alongside the drive-in cinema nearby. It was operated by Shaw Brothers, whose logo is still visible today after the cinema closed down in the 1990s. It currently houses a coffee shop.

Taman Jurong Cinema 02
Taman Jurong Cinema 03
The Shaw Brothers logo is still clearly visible

Yung Sheng Food Centre
Constructed: 1971
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2003

Behind Taman Jurong Cinema once stood Singapore’s very first hawker centre – an initiative by the government to house hawkers in a permanent, sanitised location. Yung Sheng Food Centre was known among the locals as liu shi tan (六十摊) or liu shi dang (六十档), Mandarin for “sixty stalls”, as there were exactly 60 stalls in the hawker centre.

In 2003, Singapore’s first hawker centre was demolished to make way for Singapore’s first five-storey hawker centre. The new Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre was completed in 2005, and accommodated stalls from the original Yung Sheng Food Centre, and the nearby Corporation Drive Market and Corporation Drive Food Centre. It consists of 3 storeys of stalls and 2 storeys of car park.

Blk 63 to 66 Yung Kuang Road
Constructed: 1970s
Status: Found

Blk 63 to 66 Yung Kuang Road 01
Blk 63 to 66 Yung Kuang Road 04
Blk 63 to 66 Yung Kuang Road

These four blocks stood out as iconic buildings in Taman Jurong due to their formation. Rather than 4 separate slab blocks, as per most other housing blocks in Singapore, they were arranged in a diamond-shaped formation, with corridors connected between blocks on all levels. As such, it can be seen as one gigantic block rather than 4 distinct blocks.

Blk 63 to 66 Yung Kuang Road 03
The NTUC FairPrice in the middle of the diamond

In the middle of the central “courtyard” stands a lone one-storey building occupied by a supermarket. Although located at arguably the most isolated spot in the area, the NTUC FairPrice outlet seems to be the one commercial space that attracts the most people. The other commercial units are lined up along the ground floor of the blocks, just like most other HDB flats with ground level commercial spaces. However, due to the unique arrangement of the diamond, most shops have double frontages, facing outwards and into the diamond at the same time.

Blk 63 to 66 Yung Kuang Road 02
The commercial units on the ground floor

Jurong Town Swimming Complex
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2010

Jurong Stadium and Jurong Town Swimming Complex were constructed on the western side of Taman Jurong, providing sports facilities to the residents. However, the swimming complex was eventually closed down and coverted into hard courts in 2010, most likely due to the opening of more attractive swimming complexes in the region, such as Jurong East and Jurong West Swimming Complexes, resulting in dwindling usage at Jurong Town.

Blk 5 & 6 Yung Ping Road, Blk 7 to 10 Yung Kuang Road
Constructed: 1970s
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2013

JTC Flats 01
The “H” shaped JTC flats, with every two flats sharing a central lift core

As Taman Jurong was built to serve the industrial areas, many flats here were built by JTC rather than HDB. These flats were then handed over to HDB in 1982, and many have since been demolished for redevelopment.

JTC Flats 04
Blk 9 Yung Kuang Road

JTC Flats 08
JTC Flats 09
Facilities there included a playground and a sheltered sitting area

In 2006, SERS was announced for 6 blocks of flats at Yung Ping Road and Yung Kuang Road. These flats were paired up and connected to a central lift core at specific levels. The units were also paired up, with a stair core serving 2 units on each floor, connecting them to the specific levels with continuous corridors served by the lift. While such an arrangement within each flat was common at that time, even among flats built by HDB, it was less common to have the lift core as a separate structure, serving two distinct blocks.

JTC Flats 02
JTC Flats 03
The staircases leading from the courtyard

Due to the uniqe formation of the blocks, the lift lobby is not connected to a larger void deck area. Instead, it stands isolated in the middle of the “courtyard” space within bounded by the pair of blocks. 2 concrete structures stand next to the lift lobby, housing the mailboxes.

JTC Flats 07
The façade created by the corridors and staircase landings

The cantilevered corridors and staircase landings create an interesting façade on each of the blocks. However, the lack of a ceiling over the corridors makes them highly prone to rainy weather.

JTC Flats 06
JTC Flats 05
JTC Flats 10JTC Flats 11
The flats were left in a state of decay, just before demolition

The residents were offered replacement flats at Kang Ching Road, and the blocks stood vacant for a few years before being demolished.

West Point Hospital
Constructed: 1970s
Status: Found

West Point Hospital 02
West Point Hospital

Since the 1970s, residents of Taman Jurong (and the entire Jurong West in general) were served by the Jurong Hospital, located next to the abovementioned JTC flats and across the road from the diamond blocks. The private hospital is now known as West Point Hospital, and continues to serve the healthcare needs of the residents. However, it is no longer their only options, as many public healthcare services have been established in Jurong in recent years, namely Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Jurong Community Hospital and Jurong Medical Centre.

West Point Hospital 01
West Point Hospital

Jurong Drive-in Cinema
Opened: 1971
Status: Lost
Closed: 1985

Other than the first hawker centre in Singapore, this area also boasts Singapore’s first and only permament drive-in cinema. It was operated by Cathay Organisation, located on a plot of land between the estate and Jurong Lake, leased from JTC. The cinema could hold up to 900 cars and 300 more people in its gallery. While it was well-received initially, its popularity dipped over the years. Crowd control over such a huge area proved to be difficult, and unpredictable weather also affected the screenings. The cinema was eventually closed in 1985 when Cathay decided not to renew the lease from JTC.

Fairway Club 02
Fairway Club 01
Fairway Country Club, standing where the Jurong Drive-in Cinema used to be

In the early 1990s, the plot of land was developed as Fairway Country Club, and the huge parking area for the drive-in cinema was converted into a golf course.

CN West Leisure Park
Constructed: 1979
Status: Lost

Next to the drive-in cinema was Jurong’s very own water theme park. It was opened as Mitsukoshi Garden, after its developer Mitsukoshi Limited, but was renamed CN West Leisure Park when it was bought over and redeveloped by West Overseas Co. Private Limited. In the late 1990s, it became known as the Club Hawaii Resort, and most recently, the Japanese Fishing Village.

Jurong Town Primary School
Constructed: 1968
Status: Found

Jurong Town Primary School was the first school to be set up in Taman Jurong. Its building is designed in the same way as many other government schools set up in the 1960s, such as Telok Ayer Integrated School, New Town Primary School, Permaisura Primary School and Farrer Primary School.

The school merged with Yung An Primary and Merlimau Primary in 2003. Today, the old building is occupied by Yuvabharathi International School.

Taman Jurong Bus Terminal
Constructed: 2013
Status: Losing
Closed: 2015

Taman Jurong Terminal 01
Taman Jurong Bus Terminal along Hu Ching Road

Taman Jurong Bus Terminal is a short-lived roadside bus terminal located along Hu Ching Road. It was the first roadside bus terminal to be constructed in the last few decades, ever since the widespread adoption of larger bus interchanges. It was constructed solely for bus service 49, which connected Taman Jurong to the rest of Jurong West. From November 2015 onwards, bus 49 was extended to Jurong East, and Taman Jurong Bus Terminal was retired.

Corporation Drive Market and Food Centre
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2003

Corporation Drive Market and Corporation Drive Food Centre were two single-storey zinc-roofed structures located at the junction of Corporation Drive and Hu Ching Road, near where the Taman Jurong Bus Terminal was established. Corporation Drive Market was originally known as Jurong Market I, and was renamed in 1979.

The two structures were demolished after the stalls were relocated to Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre.

The adjacent flats (Blk 139 to 145) were chosen for SERS in 1996, and the residents were relocated to Corporation Spring precinct at Yung Sheng Road. These blocks were then demolished by 2000. The plot of land (including the part occupied by the market and food centre) is now occupied by the Lake Vista precinct and the upcoming Yung Ho Spring I precinct.

Bank of America Building
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2015

Across the road, between Yung Loh Road and Yung Ho Road, was an iconic single-storey concrete structure that served the banking needs of the estate. Initially occupied by the Bank of America, it was then taken over by DBS bank, before staying vacant for a few years. It was eventually demolished in 2015 to make way for the Yung Ho Spring II HDB precinct.

SuperBowl Jurong
Constructed: 1994
Status: Found

Superbowl Jurong 01
Superbowl Jurong 02
SuperBowl Jurong

SuperBowl Jurong is an entertainment complex located at the southern end of Taman Jurong. Other than the bowling alley, the complex also houses a supermarket, a fast-food restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, karaoke lounges and other commercial tenants.

Superbowl Jurong 03
Superbowl Jurong 04
Superbowl Jurong 08
The complex houses SuperBowl, McDonald’s, KTV lounges, among other facilities

It was put up on sale in September 2015, and depending on the decision by the eventual buyer, the complex may be refurbished or even demolished.

Superbowl Jurong 07
Superbowl Jurong 05
Superbowl Jurong 06Superbowl Jurong 09
SuperBowl Jurong

Next to SuperBowl Jurong along Yung Ho Road is a single-storey building housing a KFC outlet.

18 Yung Ho Road 01
A humble KFC outlet stands next to SuperBowl Jurong

Tang Dynasty City 唐城
Constructed: 1992
Status: Lost
Closed: 1999
Demolished: 2008

Tang Dynasty City 01
The main city entrance

Tang Dynasty City 05
The pagoda

Among the various theme parks in Singapore, Tang Dynasty City was probably one of the most short-lived. Designed after the Tang Dynasty capital of Chang’an, this theme park opened in 1992, but was only opened for 7 years. Upon its closure, it was left vacant for yet another 9 years before it was finally demolished.

Tang Dynasty City 04
HDB flats in the background

Tang Dynasty City 07Tang Dynasty City 08
Scenes from the Tang Dynasty City

The Tany Dynasty City was surrounded by a replica of the Great Wall of China, creating a secluded space sheltered from the adjacent Ayer Rajar Expressway. Attractions include replicas of pagodas, grand temples, and terracotta warriors.

Tang Dynasty City 02
Tang Dynasty City 03Tang Dynasty City 06
The streetscape of Chang’an was replicated

In addition to being a cultural theme park, Tang Dynasty City was also supposed to be a movie town, similar to the Tuas TV World. The first TV serial produced by the studio was Legend of the Beauty (一代天骄), which was filmed even before the attraction was opened to public. However, despite this additional commercial aspect, it began to lose money due to a fall in visitor numbers. Visitors were turned off by the high entrance fees and a lack of novelty in the attractions. While other similar Chinese-themed attractions such as Haw Par Villa and Chinese Garden manage to survive till today, through measures including the waiving of entrance fees, the Tang Dynasty City could not sustain till the new millennium.

Tang Dynasty City 09
Tang Dynasty City 12
The empty plot of land

Tang Dynasty City 10Tang Dynasty City 11
The original vehicular entrance from the junction of Yuan Ching Road and Yung Ho Road

Today, the plot of land remains empty, awaiting future development, most likely in lieu of the Jurong Lake District or the upcoming high-speed rail station at Jurong East.

File Last Updated: December 11, 2015

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13 responses to “Taman Jurong

  1. The old Swimming pool had since convert into a futsal center. The Thai Chinese restaurant still operates there.

  2. not only jurong christian church,also got jurong calvary bp church
    the two share one site.

  3. This is a beautiful read. Thank you, author for compiling these shots and collecting all the data. I spent 4 years at Jurong Secondary School and this article brings back so many memories for me. And yes, I do feel that if the Tang Dynasty City held on a little longer, it would have survived due seeing the recent increase in arts and culture appreciation. Great job!

  4. Thanks for bringing back my childhood memories. I spent 6 years at Merlimau Pri, walking to and fro school everyday. Can’t help feeling sad that the school is no more…

  5. You missed out the posb bank at Kang Ching Road!! Currently taken over Pats Schoolhouse Childcare.

    • Oh thanks! Will go check it out when I get the chance. Goes to show there’s really a lot of interesting spots within Taman Jurong, it’s hard to cover all of them at one go

  6. Where is jurong sec sch ???

    • Hi, there’s too many interesting spots in Taman Jurong, it’s hard to cover them all at once .Will update it when I get the chance!

  7. It’s so sad to see that even the chinese garden is slowly being changed for recreational purposes. May I know who is the author of this article?

  8. Hi Cardelo, I grew up in Taman Jurong. I used to stay at the block at Tah Ching Road and I was from Yung An primary and Yuan Ching secondary. The diamond blocks used to be called 21 floors in Chinese dialect. The 21 floors blocks were known as a favourite spot for suicide (jump off high building). We used to go for grocery shopping at the Fairprice at diamond blocks there. There used to be a John Little department store at Superbowl Jurong. The pizza hut has been there since day 1 I think. I like the KFC house next to Superbowl Jurong because it has its own drive through. There used to be a Burger King opposite KFC. Today, I still travel along Yuan Ching Road and Corporation Road because I work in Jurong area 🙂

  9. Abdul Rahman Adom

    Jurong Camp …….last time next to Yuan Ching Sec Sch.My childhood time at Taman Jurong….my father selling nasi lemak at stall 2 Taman Jurong market 2. I have old photos of Taman Jurong

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