Swan & Maclaren, which was set up in 1892 and is responsible for iconic heritage buildings like Raffles Hotel and Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, is planning to enter India in its second phase of expansion plan.
As part of its long-term growth strategy to expand its international footprint, the firm in October announced new joint ventures with local architecture and design partners in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China and the Philippines that will see the company go from six offices in four countries presently to 12 offices in eight countries by the end of the year, effectively doubling its geographical footprint in the last three years.
In the next phase of growth Swan & Maclaren will be making inroads to South Asia, namely India and Sri Lanka, which the company has earmarked for expansion.
Swan & Maclaren is generally accepted as one of the oldest architectural firms in Singapore. Started as Swan and Lermit in 1887, the company was established as Swan & Maclaren in 1892, when James Maclaren joined as partner after Mr Lermit’s withdrawal. In these early years, Swan & Maclaren rose as a prominent architectural practice responsible for many of the outstanding architectural commissions of Singapore. Several world-renowned buildings designed during the early period have now been gazetted as National Monuments; Raffles Hotel, Goodwood Park Hotel, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Victorial Memorial Hall and the War Memorial, to name a few.
Though Swan & Maclaren flourished as the most prominent architectural firm of its time and was still booming in the 1980s and 1990s, by 2010, however, the firm had whittled down to a one-man show, with its last major commission being the redevelopment of the National Library in 2005. Since then some serious attempts are being made to revive the practice with expansion beyond the shores of Singapore as one of the options.