From Plantation To Bohemian Enclave
In the early years, Holland Village (HV) was occupied by plantations and nurseries on both the Jalan Merah Saga and Lorong Mambong sides.
As her name suggests, it was the Dutch, who was the first community to make its presence felt in the Holland area. In fact, the district was named in honour of Hugh Holland, an early resident, who was a well-respected architect known for his acting pursuits.
Later, members of the British army made their homes in the semi-detached and terrace houses here, now known as Chip Bee Gardens (the Jalan Merah Saga side). You could almost visualize English kids playing on the front porch while daddy drives home from Dempsey Camp in his Ford Consul!
In the beginning, the Village catered to the essential needs of these foreigners. As time passed, the Holland district attracted a greater number of expatriates, including the middle and upper class expatriate families.
Many families were members of prestigious clubs which were just a stone’s throw away – such as the Hollandse Club, Swiss Club, American Club and the Tanglin Club. The district‘s reputation as an exclusive residential area also attracted local developers who quickly saw the potential to build bungalows and semi-detached houses for the local elite. Consequently, a variety of trades began to flourish in Holland Village, which catered to the well-heeled.
This was how Holland Village came to be known for what it stands for over the past three decades – an expatriate social enclave within an upmarket residential estate. This was the place where shops sold imported, expensive gourmet products and international school uniforms.
Holland Village’s strong European influence has left many marks. But one which stood out distinctively as the Holland Village emblem and trademark is her windmill – which sits atop Holland V Shopping Mall (this mall has been pulled down and now a new building, Holland Piazza Building, stands in its place).