Toa Payoh Dragon Playground: A Heritage Icon At Lorong 6

Toa Payoh Dragon Playground
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The Toa Payoh Dragon Playground at Lorong 6 Toa Payoh is one of two full-sized Dragon Playgrounds remaining in Singapore.  The product of a time when the Housing & Development Board was building up its own brand of locally-inspired playgrounds, it has evolved into a heritage icon and reminder of a Singaporean childhood.

Heritage playground - Dragon Playground at Lorong 6 Toa PayohAt one time, behind the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground stood several blocks of flats. These served as a hinterland from which children would come from to play along its back. The flats, HDB Blocks 28, 30, 32 and 33, were demolished in 2014.

The iconic playground, unlike many of similar vintage, was spared.

Toa Payoh Dragon Playground

The Toa Payoh Dragon Playground was part of HDB’s wave of playgrounds built in the late 1970s. Besides the dragon, other contemporary designs included the bumboat design.

READ: Best Outdoor Playgrounds in Singapore

View of the Dragon PlaygroundLooking from the outside, the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground’s head and tail look orange. This is courtesy of the many mosaic tiles that were used as a practical cladding to avoid having to repaint the playround periodically.

Looking at the inside of the Toa Payoh Dragon PlaygroundInside, the dragon’s head is blue.

Climbing up the dragon's backThe Dragon's Belly - Toa Payoh PlaygroundThe steel frame spine of the dragon back has seen countless little feet scouring up and down, playing games of hide-and-seek and police-and-thief.

Slides at the Dragon PlaygroundThe innovative design of the Dragon Playground incorporates two slides. These slides lead down from either side of the dragon’s head and to the sand pit below.

Detail of the Dragon PlaygroundSand pit at the Toa Payoh Dragon PlaygroundThe Toa Payoh Dragon Playground is the only remaining of its kind that still stands in a sand pit. Its counterpart in Ang Mo Kio is now firmly situated on a modern, soft-foam padded floor.

So too are the smaller “tower-slide” dragon playgrounds located at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh and Pipit Road.

A Heritage Icon

Signboard at the Toa Payoh Dragon PlaygroundMuch attention has been showered on the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground. Its image has made it way on to all sorts of products – from tote bags and LEGO models to entire bouncy inflatables.

With all this love shown, the iconic Toa Payoh Dragon Playground at Lorong 6 will hopefully remain around for years to come – watching the traffic go by.

READ: The Dragon Playground in Woodlands – A Classic Reimagined

READ: Best Outdoor Playgrounds in Singapore