Also known the Osborne House, the building had been used as the Japanese Consul-General Office before the Second World War and was subsequently occupied by the Social Welfare Department.
It then became a children's home, a counselling centre for drug addicts before becoming one of the facilities of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). Today, the state-owned building is leased out to an independent theatre school for contemporary artists, Intercultural Theatre Institute.
Researchers had speculated that the house was developed as early as the late nineteenth century by Syed Hashim Kassim, the Sultan of Siak Sri Indrapura in Indonesia.
However, the earliest reference to the house was dated to December 1891 with an announcement of the birth of Mr Heinrich Bock's daughter. Mr Bock was the Managing Director of the trading firm Katz Brothers and the house served as his residence, as well as that of the succeeding Managing Director's residence.
The building changed hands and was bought by Singapore-based Japanese dentist Jukichi Ikeda in 1935. The building was then acquired by the Japanese Consulate in 1939 and the consulate-general office was established in the villa.
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 July 2016 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.