Swan and Maclaren was the most prominent and prestigious architectural practice working in Singapore during the latter part of the British era, from 1892, when the firm was founded, thr ough to independence in 1965, and continuing to this day. As such, the story of architecture in Singapore during that period is very much the history of Swan & Maclaren, whose client list is comprised of the good and the great of Singapore.
Swan & Maclaren: A Story of Singapore Architecture celebrates the extraordinary design output this Singaporean giant, which ranges from corporate blockbusters such as the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank and the Union Building of the 1920s, to factories, shop-houses, department stores, hotels, schools and university buildings, railway stations, churches, mosques, a synagogue, bungalows, and even the odd cattle shed. While much of their work was in Singapore, prestigious opportunities were found in, Peninsular Malaya (later Malaysia), Bangkok, Rangoon, and the Bornean state of Sarawak. This is a story told thru original drawings and images as well as the social context which created a legacy of buildings.
The names of partners and senior members of staff are also among the most famous in Singapore’s architectural record: the eponymous founder Messrs. Swan and Maclaren, Regent Alfred John Bidwell (one of the most talented architects of the British era renowned for the design of Raffles Hotel, the Victoria Memorial Hall and Theatre, the Chased-el Synagogue, the Teutonia Club, today’s Goodwood Park Hotel, Stamford House, and more), Arts and Crafts maestro David McLeod Craik, Frank Lundon, Denis Santry and Frank Brewer, Serbian Doucham Slobodan Petrovitch who designed the Tanjong Pagar Railways Station, and C. Y. Koh, author of the Water Boat House on Fullerton Road.