MAY 2012 - Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd Newsletter (Issue 24)

Subject: MAY 2012 - Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd Newsletter (Issue 24)

Send date: 2012-05-01

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MAY 2012 ISSUE 24



Earlier in April, some of the staff of Nic & Wes took a business trip to Shanghai. Being my first trip there, it was an unexpected surprise to see such a bustling city rich in history and architectural influences from all over the world.

Equipped with my DSLR and my ever-growing interest in capturing buildings, I thought that this would make an interesting story of how this city can make one feel like they have traveled to different parts of the world in a blink of an eye. This month we look at the interesting and diverse architecture of the once fishing and textile town to the now global hub known as Shanghai.

Thames Town


Who knew that a drive could transport you from Shanghai to a quaint English town? Thames Town named after the River Thames in England is located about 30 km from Central Shanghai. The newly developed town looks nothing like the rest of Shanghai with cobblestone floorings, Tudor and Victorian themed terraces.  


While much of the inspiration is drawn from England, some building are direct copies of existing ones. The majestic church located in the square for example is a replica of Christ Church, Clifton Down in Bristol. A popular backdrop for wedding photography, it was a sight to see four to five wedding couples simultaneously taking their pre-wedding shots along different spots outside the church.



Keeping to the elements of an English town, cobblestone flooring is a distinct feature throughout the various roads of Thames Town. Being a relatively new town, construction work was still being done with workers diligently hard at work placing piece by piece of cobblestone to line the roads. It’s only by observing, does one realize how much work and skill goes into creating a feature that adds to the character of an English town.

Walking along the streets felt like stepping into a postcard. Street after street brought a different charm. Like most English architecture, the exterior played an important part in identifying the different eras.


Tudor terraces on one hand were easily distinguishable by the visible beams in black complete with a pitch roof. 


Victorian houses on the other hand typically feature bay windows and brick exteriors which are especially interesting to see at Thames Town.


Being able to get up close to the buildings, it was a surprise to see that cladding and not real bricks were used to achieve that brick-like exterior which is seen in authentic Victorian style terraces. But just that feature alone displayed how ingenious the Chinese are in achieving a close interpretation without traditional methods.


What would a recreation of Thames be without a little water? Thames Town has a series of man-made waterways throughout the town’s intersections that just add to the overall grandeur.

Attention to even the tiniest detail makes a recreation close to authenticity. Thames Town really pushes the boundaries in creating a different world-like feel.

Yuyuan Garden

While in Shanghai, I started to wonder where all the traditional Chinese buildings have disappeared to. Part of me expected to see quite a number of majestic temple-like buildings in red lining at least some streets but all I saw thus far were contemporary, modern or old-style European buildings.


Then we stepped into Yuyuan. Like another trip through time, every turning was a traditional Oriental building. Most of them now turned into little boutiques or offices, Yuyuan mirrored the old city of Shanghai.


I was in awe of the splendor and intricacy of these structures at the Yuyuan Garden. To imagine that they have been through roughly 400 years and now still stand, conserved and refurbished. And while changes have been made over time, still remain authentic. 

The Bund

People who have been to Shanghai say that, “If you travel to Shanghai you must visit The Bund."


The Bund which is located on a section of Zhongshan Road within the former Shanghai International Settlement is a breathtaking sight of towering cosmopolitan buildings dazzling in LED lights having a showdown with the richly historical buildings on the adjacent area of The Bund.


Like being trapped in two time zones, The Bund is a distinctive example of what Shanghai is all about – a city with a strong grip and appreciation of its history yet reaching out to transform itself into a more modern and high-tech city for its future generations.



With the sale proceeds from our first home, we were set on putting down the deposit for our second home - a single storey semi-detached house, which I thank my lovely wife, Jude, for arm-twisting me into purchasing.

Without any intention of profiteering but to create a beautiful home for our family, we embarked on extending and creating a more functional home to accommodate a now family of four, including our two additional children, Nic & Wes. Jude with her flair in beautifying spaces and her addiction to creating styled homes accomplished another masterpiece.

As I mentioned earlier, this home was meant to become our new home and by that time we had already moved in. However, curiosity to know what the value for our Country style themed home would fetch, ended with us placing an advertisement in the Classifieds.

By the first day, a second prospect gave us an offer that we could not refuse and the story continues...

My advice: Want a good price for your home? Beautify it.


[click on image for more info]

Type: Condominium

Tenure: Freehold

List Type: For Rent

Built In: 1162 sq. ft. (approx)

Rooms: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, kitchen, living room

Amenities: Close proximity to Yio Chu Kang MRT and Ang Mo Kio MRT as well as schools like CHIJ St. Nicholas Girl's School, Mayflower Secondary School and Yio Chu Kang Secondary School

View Time: By Appointment

Contact: Elaine Ang (9855 9552)

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