|Gable at Desker Road. Pic taken 4 Jan 2018.|
I haven't been gable hunting for some time in Singapore. But recently I came across this nice one at Desker Road. See, it has a nice design on the side. The steep knob at the tip of the gable suggested wood element or water element.
In Chinese architecture, the five different shapes of gable ends denote the five elements: wood, fire, metal, water and earth. (Reference: Handy Guide for Appreciating Chinese Architecture). Apparently, different gable ends were employed to counter the adversity of the land which the houses were seated on.
The region around Desker Road was once swampland, so the wood element depicted by the gable ends may be used to counter the earth element. (Purely conjecture on my part!)
Desker Road, with its rich history, was named after a butcher, Andre Filipe Desker, a resident in the area who opened Singapore's largest butchery during the 1860s. BTW, I have great respect for butchers since I was a kid when I trotted to market with mum. The butcher with his blood-splatted white singlet rolled up to his rounded belly, would nearly always slip a bonus piece of pork into the the lot that mum wanted, quietly wrapping them up with newspaper. (Many a times, I would be sent back to the market with the "bonus" as mum insisted that we need to return it to the dear old butcher.)
Anyway, back to the story of this Desker Road butcher -- he was from Malacca, married in Singapore and eventually had 13 children. He was known for his generous donations to schools and churches.