Discover fun facts about the hawker centres you know and love

Amid rapid and widespread digitalisation, our generation has developed a growing propensity for nostalgic reminiscence.

And as part of the collective effort to preserve the fading vestiges of our colourful heritage, the National Heritage Board (NHB) has launched Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste. A new photography series that captures the all too familiar, yet culturally distinct architecture of our beloved hawker centres, this collection boasts over 100 original works of the landmarks that transcend time and generation.

Officially recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, Singapore’s hawker culture is inseparable from any tale of Singaporean identity. Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste features 12 of our most iconic hawker centres, presented through the lenses of local photographers Fabian Ong, Rebecca Toh, Khoo Guo Jie and Lee Yik Keat.

This digital series documents our diverse cultural narrative as it highlights the architectural significance of individual hawker centres across the island. Capturing the salient aesthetics and ethos of their respectively located communities, it offers viewers a chance to revisit these bustling spaces and rediscover them through different perspectives.
 


Did you know that Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre’s current building facade pays homage to the Streamline Moderne and Art Deco architecture of its surrounding residential homes? The renovation works done during 2004-2006 also helped meet the needs of its elderly patrons, as movable seats were introduced to improve wheelchair access. (Photo by Rebecca Toh)
 

Bridging past and present – Our Hawker Culture showcases sites from Singapore’s early years such as Geylang Serai Market and Adam Road Food Centre, alongside modern venues like Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre and Pasir Ris Hawker Centre.

From immersive Malay kampung facades and cosy nine-sided structures, to vibrant walls and metal panel facades, Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste is a pensive journey through space and tradition, fuelled by the spirit of Singapore’s unique culture.

For a deeper understanding of our hawker centres, or even more stories and relics of our history, simply visit NHB’s dedicated heritage portal here.


More information on Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste here.