Tucked in a corner on the junction of Bristol Road and Carlisle Road is a quiet and unassuming single-storey mosque, Masjid Tasek Utara. Its village-styled exterior contrasts with the other Saracenic-style masjids or avant-garde-looking religious structures in Singapore. The petite building stands in the shadow of giants, with nearby HDB blocks towering over it.
Built in 1907, Masjid Tasek Utara has been part of the neighbourhood for over a century. Starting out as a small surau (a prayer hall) serving the surrounding area of Tasek Utara, the community served by the mosque expanded to include the residents of the Cambridge and Pek Kio estates when public housing, built by the Singapore Improvement Trust, introduced more people to the community.
Despite its size, the modest white building with the grey-tiled roof houses all the components for a Muslim place of worship, such as prayer rooms and an area of ablution. The current building is a relic of what it used to be. The original building was a simple, functional prayer space sheltered by a central, low-pitched roof. Additional sheltered spaces were added as time progressed.
In 2016, the Masjid Tasek Utara underwent refurbishment works, together with two other mosques, Masjid Jamek Queenstown and Masjid Hussein Sulaiman. It was the first time that the mosque had undergone extensive upgrading.
The Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund provided S$600,000 out of the S$977,000 combined costs required for the upgrading works. The Mosque Management Board members of all three mosques then rallied together to raise the remaining funds.
Out of the three mosques, Masjid Tasek Utara was the only mosque closed for refurbishment. Works began in October 2016 and changes were made to various parts of the building. Amongst other works, the main prayer halls were refurbished and the building was re-painted. The original wooden pillars were also replaced with concrete ones to reinforce the structure of the mosque.
Masjid Tasek Utara re-opened in early 2017 and continues serving the employees of the Land Transport Authority and KK Women's and Children's Hospital, as well as residents of Farrer Park and Serangoon Road who continue to visit for their Friday prayers.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of May 2019 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.