Blocks 160 & 161 Mei Ling Street are the first point blocks constructed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB). The sale of the 20-storey point blocks were presided by then Parliamentary Secretary for National Development, Ho Cheng Choon, on 7 April 1970. The two blocks comprise 342 three-room and 114 four-room apartments.
Before the point blocks were constructed, early HDB residential blocks conformed to a standard slab design, where each row of apartments was served by a common corridor. Designed with an eye to reduce homogeneity in public housing, these point blocks accommodated four units on every floor, thus providing more privacy to residents compared to the slab blocks.
Karen Lum (b. 1972) and her family live in an apartment at Block 160 since 1970. She recalled, “The point blocks are built on a small hill. Hence, we can enjoy an unobstructed view of downtown Singapore from my house. On every National Day, we can even see fireworks from my window!”
Following the success of the pilot project at Blocks 160 & 161 Mei Ling Street, the HDB went on to build more point blocks across the country.