The architecture reflects European neo-classical influences from the 1920s. The facades are decorated with pilasters (projecting columns), architraves (beams) and cornices in neo-classical proportions, Adaptations for the tropics include high level vents that allow warm air to escape from the roof and the use of coloured glass to diffuse harsh ambient light.
Forecourts with low surrounding walls front all the houses, enclosing each unit within a private compound with gate posts that convey a grand sense of entrance. The 1920s units have front walls with pre-cast balustrades shaped like vases, while those built in the 1930s have solid walls with eye-catching circular reliefs.
The last five houses along Martaban Road are distinguished by their Art Deco-style facades, which feature strongly geometric elements such as rectangular plaster panels on the upper parapets and incised plasterwork that mimics 'stone' work. Above the windows are pre-cast cement vents in a 'windmill' pattern. The buildings were originally finished in grey Shanghai Plaster.
13 Martaban Road was formerly a dormitory for attendants from the nearby Tan Tock Seng Hospital. This terrace house was built in the second transitional style (a simplified architectural style that reflected the economic austerity of the 1930s) and has since been restored into a contemporary home that retains the integrity of its humble heritage. During the conservation effort (which won a URA Architectural Heritage Award in 2007), many of the original roof rafters, timber doors and windows were preserved, along with the original roof profile.