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Swan and Maclaren: A Story of Singapore Architecture

Author/EditorSwan & Maclaren: Davison, J (Author)
Publisher: Oro Editions
ISBN: 9781935935476
Pub Date29/10/2020
BindingHardback
Pages440
Dimensions (mm)279(h) * 228(w) * 21(d)
Swan & Maclaren were the most prominent and prestigious architectural practice working in Singapore during the later part of the British era. This book offers a history of Singapore through its Architecture.
€37.26
excluding shipping
Availability: 1 In Stock
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Swan & Maclaren were one of the main architectural practices working in Singapore from their foundation in 1892 through to independence in 1965. As such, the history of Singapore architecture, during that period, is very much the history of Swan & Maclaren. Of course there were other important players, local Singaporeans as well as British, working in Singapore at this time, but there is no denying that Swan & Maclaren were the key players during this era, representing the architects of choice for those who could afford them their list of clients during the period we are considering reads like a litany of the good and the great of Singapore. The output of the firm was extraordinary, too, ranging from corporate blockbusters like the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank and the Union Building of the 1920s, to factories, shophouses, department stores, hotels, schools and university buildings, railway stations, churches, mosques, a synagogue, bungalows, even the odd cattle shed! And not just in Singapore, but also in Peninsular Malaya (later Malaysia), Bangkok, Rangoon and the east Bornean state of Sarawak, once the fiefdom of the White Rajahs, later a Crown Colony.The names of partners and senior members of staff are also among the most famous in Singapore s architectural record: the eponymous Messrs Swan and Maclaren who founded the firm, Regent Alfred John Bidwell, one of the most talented architects of the British era, famous for having designed Raffles Hotel, the Victoria Memorial Hall and Theatre, the Chased-el Synagogue, the Teutonia Club (today's Goodwood Park Hotel), Stamford House and much else besides; Arts and Crafts maestro, Scotsman David McLeod Craik; the 1920s and thirties triumvirate of starchitects, Frank Lundon, Denis Santry and Frank Brewer; Serbian Slobodan Petrovitch who designed the Tanjong Pagar Railways Station, and C.
Y. Koh, author of everyone s favorite early Modernist masterpiece, the Water Boat House on Fullerton Road. Similarly in the postwar era, when we see the emergence of a new generation of local Singaporean architects who would lead the practice through to independence. The scope of the book covers the period from the mid-1880s, when the two eponymous founding partners, Archibald A. Swan and J. W. B. Maclaren first came to Singapore, and continues through to the end of the British era in 1965.

Swan & Maclaren were one of the main architectural practices working in Singapore from their foundation in 1892 through to independence in 1965. As such, the history of Singapore architecture, during that period, is very much the history of Swan & Maclaren. Of course there were other important players, local Singaporeans as well as British, working in Singapore at this time, but there is no denying that Swan & Maclaren were the key players during this era, representing the architects of choice for those who could afford them their list of clients during the period we are considering reads like a litany of the good and the great of Singapore. The output of the firm was extraordinary, too, ranging from corporate blockbusters like the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank and the Union Building of the 1920s, to factories, shophouses, department stores, hotels, schools and university buildings, railway stations, churches, mosques, a synagogue, bungalows, even the odd cattle shed! And not just in Singapore, but also in Peninsular Malaya (later Malaysia), Bangkok, Rangoon and the east Bornean state of Sarawak, once the fiefdom of the White Rajahs, later a Crown Colony.The names of partners and senior members of staff are also among the most famous in Singapore s architectural record: the eponymous Messrs Swan and Maclaren who founded the firm, Regent Alfred John Bidwell, one of the most talented architects of the British era, famous for having designed Raffles Hotel, the Victoria Memorial Hall and Theatre, the Chased-el Synagogue, the Teutonia Club (today's Goodwood Park Hotel), Stamford House and much else besides; Arts and Crafts maestro, Scotsman David McLeod Craik; the 1920s and thirties triumvirate of starchitects, Frank Lundon, Denis Santry and Frank Brewer; Serbian Slobodan Petrovitch who designed the Tanjong Pagar Railways Station, and C.
Y. Koh, author of everyone s favorite early Modernist masterpiece, the Water Boat House on Fullerton Road. Similarly in the postwar era, when we see the emergence of a new generation of local Singaporean architects who would lead the practice through to independence. The scope of the book covers the period from the mid-1880s, when the two eponymous founding partners, Archibald A. Swan and J. W. B. Maclaren first came to Singapore, and continues through to the end of the British era in 1965.

Julian Davison is the son of an architect and grew up in Singapore and Malaysia; he has a PhD in anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and lives in Singapore where he is a writer and television presenter, specializing in Singapore architecture and local history.

Acknowledgements v Preface 1 Introduction 2 PART ONE 1888-1899 1. Archibald Alexander Swan: Introducing the Man 6 2. Messrs Swan & Lermit: Surveyors and Civil Engineers 10 3. Swan Alone: 1890-1892 18 4. Swan & Maclaren: The Founding of the Practice 24 5. Hotels, Clubs and Early Residential Work 34 6. A Class Act: Bidwell Joins the Practice 40 7. Shophouses and Godowns: An Urban Archetype 48 8. A Penang Interlude: George Town, 1895-1898 56 9. A Jubilee Year: 1897 60 10. Arts and Crafts: The Residential Architecture of Regent Bidwell 68 11. A Victorian Swansong: Swan & Maclaren at the Turn of the Century 82 PART TWO 1900-1914 12. Robinson Road Wrenaissance: A Corporate Style for a New Century 90 13. From Edwardian Baroque to Indo-Saracenic 100 14. Industry and Transport: Ramping up the Infrastructure 106 15. Variations on a Theme: From Shophouse to Townhouse 112 16. Gracious Living: The Tropical Edwardian House 120 17. Grand Tourism: The Battle of the Hotels 130 18. The Sporting Life: Clubs and Leisure 138 19. Three Masterworks 146 20. The Curious Fate of Mr Bidwell 158 21. Broadening the Horizon: Bangkok and Surabaya 168 22. Kuala Lumpur Pursuits 172 23. A Changing of the Guard 180 24. David McLeod Craik Joins the Practice 190 PART THREE 1914-1941 25. The Great War Years: 1914-1918 202 26. Mercantile Palaces and the Modern Classical Style 210 27. Interlopers: The Arrival of Rivals 228 28. The Golden Era of the Black and White House 234 29. Tropical Voysey: The Residential Architecture of Frank Wilmin Brewer 246 30. Mansion Blocks, Flats and Tenements: The Advent of Apartment Living 254 31. Going Dutch: Social Housing and the Influence of the Amsterdam School 262 32. Upwardly Mobile: Designing Homes for an Emergent Middle Class 268 33. Up and Down the Peninsula: Swan & Maclaren in Malaya Between the Wars 274 34. Swan, Maclaren & Craik: The Penang Years 284 35. Memorialising the Rajahs: Swan & Maclaren in Kuching 294 36. Swan & Maclaren Sacred: The Churches and Memorials 298 37. Romantic Orientalism: Mosques and Temples 308 38. Corridors of Learning: Schools and Colleges 316 39. A Matter of Style: From Neo-Georgian to Chinese Renaissance 328 40. Art Deco Singapore 334 41. The Residential Architecture of Denis Santry 350 42. Early Modern: Stripped Classical and the Great West Road 358 43. Shophouses Between the Wars 370 44. More or Less: The Advent of Modernism 376 Reflecting on Fifty Years 397 Swan & Maclaren Today 400 Gazetted Buildings Designed by Swan & Maclaren 410 Endnotes 411 Bibliography 424 Index 426

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