Look at the above floor plan…and you may ask where is the the Living Room (or Hall)? Maybe you will ask if this is a Studio Apartment? But when you look closer at the plan, the main door of one unit is directly opposite to the neighbour’s main door. You don’t find these configuration any more in the newer flats.
The Living Room is counted as one room, so it’s called 1 room flat. This is probably the 23 sq.m. type. You can imagined in the past, for those with big family – all of them squeezing into this 1 room flat sleeping on the floor.
See how they look like in real – door to door;
I’m not too sure if the inside of the above photos are still of 1 room flat type as I found these flats at Beach Road;
I remember I used to visit my cousin who was staying at Tronoh Road (off Lavender St.) in such 1 room flat. The narrow passageway was very dark and some were smelly as well. In the past, most of the kids were playing together outside and usually the doors were not closed. I myself had some experiences staying in such 1 room flat at my Auntie’s house at Mattar Road and later a 2 room flat (1 living hall and 1 bedroom)at Aljunied Road then.
Guess the early HDB flats were designed with minimum sizes and costs in mind. Also these were probably built in the 60s period, so they may be rushing for time to complete as many as possible.
Do you know why HDB called those without any bedroom a “1 room flat” and those with 2 bedroom and 1 living hall a “3 room flat”? It’s because like I’ve said earlier, the Living Hall is considered as 1 Bedroom.