Stadium Stories: Our Tampines Hub, The Brainchild Of 15,000 Residents
Tampines residents have bragging rights over other Singaporeans. Who else can say they've had a hand in designing their own neighbourhood's community centre? And it's not just any old CC. In this edition of Stadium Stories, we find out more about Our Tampines Hub (OTH), Singapore's largest integrated community and lifestyle hub.
The 5.3ha venue (that's the size of seven football fields) is a community centre, shopping mall and sports complex all rolled into one. Oh yeah, and it just so happens to have a football stadium nestled right in the middle of it. The hub is also smack dab in the middle of three MRT stations (Tampines West, Tampines, Tampines East) along the Downtown Line at Tampines Town Centre, making it a convenient and accessible destination for everyone in the estate.
Located at 1 Tampines Walk, OTH officially opened to the public in August 2017 after a series of public consultation sessions involving more than 15,000 Tampines residents to revamp the site of the former Tampines Stadium and Tampines Sports Hall.
Residents not only gave feedback on the name and design of the hub, they also gave suggestions on what facilities to include as well. From ideation to realisation, they were involved and consulted during the process. It truly is a hub by the residents for the residents.
The Town Square
The crown jewel of this mammoth complex is the Town Square, the 5,000-seat football stadium around which the entire hub is built. The high-quality synthetic pitch at the hub allows for both football and rugby matches. It has also hosted numerous community events and public screenings.
Currently, the Town Square is the homeground of two of the biggest football clubs in the Singapore Premier League - Tampines Rovers FC and Geylang International FC. The two eastern clubs have been sharing the ground since 2019 in a bid to boost fan attendance and engagement.
Pretty cool that two well-known rivals get to share a stadium à la Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan who share the San Siro stadium. The matches between the teams are, understandably, pretty intense.
Another impressive feature is the indoor running track located on level 5 of Our Tampines Hub that circles around the roof of the stadium. On match nights, you might even catch a glimpse of the matches from an elevated bird's eye view.
The old Tampines Stadium was first built in 1989 in a bid to provide more fitness and recreational spaces for surrounding neighbourhoods. It holds a special place in my heart to this day. As a former Tampines resident, I grew up close to the stadium and lived in the neighbourhood until I was 17.
The nearby Tampines swimming complex was also where I had my first swimming lessons as a kiddo while the Sports Hall used be my go-to hangout after school. (Though I must admit, it was the LAN shops there that attracted me more than the badminton courts.)
The brick-and-mortar design and the giant rings that dotted the walls of the former stadium were truly iconic and evoked memories of the countless Sports Days that my primary and secondary schools used to hold at the venue.
The multi-purpose stadium, equipped with an 8-lane running track and a football pitch, became the home stadium of Tampines Rovers FC when the S-League first started in 1996. The club quickly established roots and set up strong ties within the community. I remember vividly the vociferous crowds at the old ground, cheering on the likes of Aleksander Duric and Noh Alam Shah in their prime in the 2000s.
Our Tampines Hub Timeline
December 1989: Original Tampines Stadium, Tampines Sports Hall and Tampines Swimming Complex opens to public
April 1996: S-League officially launches. Tampines Stadium becomes the homeground for local club Tampines Rovers FC
21 January 2011: Plans for a new development unveiled to be built on the site of the former stadium and sports hall; demolition works begin
2011-2017: Tampines Rovers FC temporarily relocates away from Tampines Stadium, first at Clementi Stadium and then Jurong West Stadium later on
11 May 2013: Groundbreaking ceremony; demolition is completed by July
1 June 2014: Construction work commences
27 November 2016: Phase 1 of Our Tampines Hub completed; Festival Mall, Public Service Centre, Hawker Centre and a community auditorium open to the public
May 2017: Phase 2 completed; a bowling centre, performing arts auditorium and swimming complex become available for public bookings
28 July 2017: Tampines Rovers FC have their first match at the newly-opened stadium (now known as the Town Square) within the hub against Brunei DPMM FC - this marks the club's return to their spiritual home after six years away
6 August 2017: Phase 3 completed; OTH becomes fully operational
February 2019: Geylang International FC, rivals to Tampines Rovers FC, moves in to OTH and the two clubs now share the stadium as their homeground
Things to do at OTH
We're not kidding when we say the Tampines residents really came through with their suggestions for facilities within OTH. The integrated community and lifestyle hub has literally everything you would want and need under one roof. The options are endless but we've narrowed it down to a few important amenities.
First is the Public Service Centre, which houses six key goverment agencies, including the Housing Development Board (HDB), North East Community Development Council (NE CDC) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) for all your aduliting needs. Whether its paying bills, applying for jobs or seeking financial assistance, you can accomplish all these and more seamlessly at these venues.
Now, on to the fun stuff. What is there to makan here? Well, you can't go wrong with a heartland staple. The sprawling hawker centre on the first floor has a diverse range of local delights while the FairPrice supermarket in the basement is open 24 hours a day. There is a also a mix of fast-food chains and cafes, and even classier dining options. Take your pick or tapau your favourite meals on the way home from work or school.
If you're a fitness buff, there a number of sports facilities such as the aforementioned running track and stadium (which is available for public bookings). Then, there is the swimming complex which is located on the roof of OTH, making it one of the largest rooftop pools in the country. Have we mentioned the rock climbing wall, badminton courts and bowling alley as well?
Those looking to chill and unwind can check out the public library which happens to overlook the stadium. There are also numerous retail options, a performing arts auditorium and giant public screenings of movies and football games.
Want more makan options in Tampines?
Need to satiate your appetite for local delights? Take it from someone who's lived in the neighbourhood for a while. Think: wanton noodles, Thai cuisine and super sedap nasi lemak!
Find out more about the history and architecture of Tampines Round Market & Food Centre, and find out what you should make a beeline for when you go there.