Pearl's Hill Terrace


Formerly home to Singapore’s Police Headquarters, Pearl’s Hill Terrace has undergone a massive transformation that turned it from a place of surveillance to an artistic hub of creativity.

Pearl's Hill Terrace, nestled in the bustling heart of Singapore, is a location steeped in historical significance and quirky charm.

Built on a hill named after Lieutenant James Pearl, the commanding officer of the ship that brought Sir Stamford Raffles to Singapore, this area has transformed from a place of rules and regulation to a place of creativity and artistic expression.

Built in the 1930s, Pearl’s Hill Terrace was once the nucleus of Singapore’s police force which worked tirelessly against various crimes that occurred daily in Chinatown. These days, Pearl’s Hill Terrace is home to a vibrant arts community that operates on an entirely different level to the ordered, structured city that surrounds it…

The History of Pearl’s Hill Terrace: A Law Enforcement Enclave to Artistic Community

Pearl's Hill Terrace is most notably associated with its past as the site of the Police Operational Headquarters. Constructed in the 1930s, these headquarters were a key component of Singapore's police force for several decades. The building complex, characterised by its distinctive architecture, served as the nerve centre for police operations, playing a crucial role in maintaining law and order in the city-state of Singapore.

During its operational years, the Police Operational Headquarters at Pearl's Hill Terrace witnessed many significant events in Singapore's history, including periods of civil unrest and the challenges of policing a rapidly modernising society. The headquarters not only housed the offices of the police force but also included living quarters for police personnel and their families, making it a self-contained community.

With the relocation of the police headquarters in the late 20th century, the Pearl's Hill Terrace site underwent a transformation. The old police buildings were repurposed, and the area gradually evolved into a blend of residential, commercial, and creative spaces. 

Today, artists of all kinds thrive within its walls: painters, sculptors, candle-makers, musicians, taxidermists and much, much more.

Pearl's Hill Terrace - 02
- ©Jnzl's Photos

Things to Do in Pearl's Hill Terrace

Pearl's Hill Terrace offers a variety of activities for both locals and tourists. The area is a haven for history enthusiasts and architecture buffs, with its well-preserved colonial buildings offering a glimpse into Singapore's past. 

The vicinity is also known for its vibrant arts scene. Several old buildings have been converted into creative spaces, hosting art exhibitions, workshops, and cultural events. This artistic environment adds a unique flavour to Pearl's Hill Terrace, making it a must-visit for those interested in Singapore's contemporary arts and culture.

Additionally, the area's proximity to Chinatown means that visitors can also enjoy a range of culinary experiences. From traditional hawker fare to modern cafes, the options are diverse and cater to all tastes.

Some Interesting Facts About Pearl's Hill Terrace

  • Historical Reservoir: The Pearl's Hill Reservoir, built in the 1890s, is one of the oldest reservoirs in Singapore. It's unique for being situated atop a hill, a rare feature for reservoirs.
  • Architectural Diversity: The buildings at Pearl's Hill Terrace showcase a mix of architectural styles, from colonial-era designs to modern renovations, reflecting Singapore's multicultural heritage.
  • Artistic Hub: The area has become a hub for artists and creatives, with many old buildings transformed into studios and galleries, fostering a thriving arts community.
  • Green Oasis: Despite its urban location, Pearl's Hill Terrace is surrounded by lush greenery, offering a tranquil escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

Pearl's Hill Terrace - 03
- ©Jnzl's Photos


Pearl's Hill Terrace in Singapore is more than just a historical landmark; it's a living testament to the city's journey through time. 

From its origins as a military stronghold to its current status as a cultural and artistic enclave, the area offers a unique blend of history, art, and urban life. Whether you're a history buff, an art lover, or simply a curious traveller, Pearl's Hill Terrace has something to offer. 

Its preservation of the past, coupled with a dynamic present, makes it a must-visit destination in Singapore, embodying the essence of the city's rich heritage and vibrant future.

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What you need to know

Pearl's Hill Terrace
195 Pearl's Hill Terrace, Singapore 168976
1.284395, 103.841173
Tips before you visit