Super unique lift in 36-year-old Pasir Panjang condo feels like riding a tram in Hong Kong

The funicular lift is believed to be the only one of its kind in Singapore.

Low Jia Ying | October 26, 2021, 06:50 PM

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If you think you’ve seen all the weird and unusual architecture that Singapore has to offer, you may have to look again.

Tucked away in a quiet section of Pasir Panjang Road, is an three-decade-old condominium.

Its entrance looks like one to a bunker fort.

Behind its owl-faced exterior lies a funicular lift -- a rare piece of engineering, believed to be one of its kind in Singapore.

The lift

The lift entrance from the covered basement car park looks just like any other lift entrance.

But as soon as one steps into the lift, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary elevator ride.

Passengers will realise they are at the bottom of a railway track on a steep inclined slope.

Experience taking this lift

The lift moves off and I am immediately thrown off by the sideways inertia as I am -- like everyone else -- obviously more used to the regular, vertical lifts I’ve taken in my life.

I regain my footing and as the lift ascends, the view opens up to the sky and the PSA port at Pasir Panjang in the distance.

This is the view from the top travelling down:

The lift moves slowly, but I can imagine why that wouldn’t be a problem with a view like that.

It feels like I’ve been transported to the Peak Tram in Hong Kong.

The track is narrowly flanked by apartments on either side. I am told that the lift opens up on both sides, and stops directly at the entrance of each flat.

Save for one of the floors, all residents here have a private lift lobby.

Built into the side of a hill

The 36-year-old condominium, called Palisades, is built into the side of the Pasir Panjang hill area, facing the Singapore Strait.

The architect wanted the building to blend in with the hillside.

The 18 units are arranged in pairs, and are serviced by this lift that travels at a 22-degree angle, rather than vertically.

Image courtesy of The Property Runway.

This is the only lift in the condominium.

Residents can also choose to access their homes via two sets of stairs on either side of the building, and enter their homes via the balcony.

Image courtesy of The Property Runway.

Stairs. Lots of them.

Entering the Palisades car park is quite an experience in itself too.

The drive up the spiral entrance to the car park will allow occupants in the vehicle to be greeted by the exposed surface of the hill that the condo sits on, as well as the numerous columns propping the building up.

Like Jurassic Park.

Condo likely demolished next year

Sadly, the lift and condominium would likely not be around for much longer.

Mothership understands that the residents have agreed to put up the property for en bloc sale.

The property would likely be demolished next year.

But if you want the chance to ride the lift as often as you can before it’s gone for good, one of the units is on sale for a cool S$3.3 million.


Local photographer Darren Soh shared more background information and a photo of the condominium in a Facebook post:

The condominium, like all private properties in Singapore, are not open for public access.

Trespassing is frowned upon, or mostly, illegal.

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All photos by Low Jia Ying, unless otherwise stated.