The House of Tan Yeok Nee is a gazetted National Monument strategically located in the heart of Singapore, Orchard Road. This heritage landmark is situated along Penang Road and Clemenceau Avenue and enjoys close proximity to the Dhoby Ghaut Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Station. The House of Tan Yeok Nee is the most elaborate and only ‘survivor’ of the Four Mansions built by rich Teochew tycoons in the late 19 th century in Singapore. It is also one of the two remaining traditional Chinese mansions in Singapore, making it a unique cultural treasure.
Constructed in 1882 and completed in 1885, The House of Tan Yeok Nee was previously a mansion residence that belonged to Chaozhou-born businessman, Tan Yeok Nee. The mansion was intended to reflect Tan Yeok Nee’s wealth and social status as a successful Chinese businessman. He resided in this house for a few years before returning to his hometown in Chaozhou.
The House Of Tan Yeok Nee occupies over 29,000 square feet. Much architectural features and fengshui beliefs were put into consideration while planning the construction of the mansion back in the early days. The back of the house faces the present day Oxley Hill and the present Stamford Canal flowed in front of it, across the low lying grounds of Dhoby Ghaut. It was believed that such a setting helped ward off evil and attract wealth to Tan Yeok Nee. The House of Tan Yeok Nee is also built according to the style of traditional Teochew residential buildings and exhibited the harmony of Yin and Yang, which are shown at the top of the ceiling in gold, wood, water, fire and earth – the five elements. This unique design not only enhances the artistic value of the walls, but also represents the unity of prosperity, intelligence, longevity, health and happiness.
In 2000, The House Of Tan Yeok Nee was restored to ensure that the original architecture and character of the mansion is kept intact, while incorporating contemporary facilities to support modern day usage.