The Vanguard Building, formerly known as the Malaysia Publishing House Building, or simply the MPH Building, is a historic building on the corner of Armenian Street and Stamford Road. It initially housed the Methodist Publishing House. Since 2014, it has been leased to the Singapore Management University.

The building in 2014



The building is one of the few remaining examples of Edwardian architecture in Singapore. It features pedimented and arched windows and rusticated piers. It also features Baroque arches, which are supported by a first-storey arcade.[1]



The building was built in 1908, housing the Methodist Publishing House. It was designed by architectural firm Swan & Maclaren.[2] Following WWII, Frank Cooper Sands, then Managing Director of MPH, restored and reopened the bookstore.[3][4]

In 1988, it was announced that the interior of the building would be redeveloped for $10 million.[5][6] The building reopened in November 1991, with a new cafe and the third floor being dedicated to music.[7][8] The Singapore branch of the United States Information Service was relocated to the top floor of the newly redeveloped building.[9][10]

Vanguard Interiors bought the property for $25 million and leased it back to the MPH until 2003.[2][11] In 2003, the building was gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It was then leased to AIT Unicampus. In October 2006, Vanguard Interiors moved its offices and its showroom into the building.[2]

The Singapore Management University signed a five-year lease for the building in 2014 and renamed it SMU Labs.[12][13]


  1. ^ Hao, Wan Meng (15 April 2011). Heritage Places of Singapore. pp. 85–87. ISBN 9789814312950.
  2. ^ a b c "Vanguard Building (Former Malaya Publishing House Building". Roots. National Heritage Board. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  3. ^ Padili, M. Ashif (5 February 2003). "MPH Building : exterior". PictureSG. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  4. ^ Corfield, Justin (2 December 2010). Historical Dictionary of Singapore. p. 180. ISBN 9780810873872.
  5. ^ Hsung, Bee Hwa (1 July 1988). "MPH Building to be redeveloped at $10m". The Straits Times. Singapore. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Facade all that's left of MPH Building". The Straits Times. Singapore. 29 October 1990. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  7. ^ "English manor look for bookstore". Timeszone Central. Singapore. 21 November 1991. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  8. ^ "MPH goes English with new manor look". The Straits Times. Singapore. 21 November 1991. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  9. ^ "USIS to take up residence at new MPH building". The Business Times. Singapore. 31 October 1991. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  10. ^ "USIS now at the MPH Building in Stamford Rd". The Straits Times. Singapore. 19 December 1991. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  11. ^ Batacan, Felisa (26 March 2001). "MPH Building fetches $25m". The Straits Times. Singapore.
  12. ^ Davie, Sandra (21 December 2014). "Former MPH building now learning lab for SMU students". The Straits Times. Singapore. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  13. ^ Rashiwala, Kalpana (10 May 2014). "SMU signs lease for former MPH Building". The Business Times. Singapore.

1°17′41″N 103°50′59″E / 1.2947°N 103.8498°E / 1.2947; 103.8498