Two of East Lothian’s most prominent architectural firms, Chalmers & Co and Alan Sheerin Associates, are to merge, and aim to be East Lothian’s leading architectural practice.
Alan Sheerin Associates are probably the best known firm of architects in the county. Chartered architect, Alan Sheerin, worked in East Lothian Council’s Architects Department, at Campbell and Arnott, and at RMJM prior to establishing his own practice in Haddington’s Sidegate in 1987.
He was involved in a wide variety of projects including housing, medical centres, cinemas and an overseas hotel and a conference centre in Tripoli in Libya. With East Lothian Council he was responsible for the design of a housing project which gained a Civic Trust Commendation.
For the last 26 years Alan has worked on projects across East Lothian, Fife and the City Of Edinburgh, and even in South Uist. Projects of all sizes have included private and housing association residential developments, steading conversions, medical and dental centres, The Haddington Abbeyfield Society home, the Museum of Flight at East Fortune and work for the National Museum on Chambers Street. The practice gained a Saltire Commendation for the development of sheltered housing and associated work to a nursing home at Hilton Lodge in Haddington.
Alan Sheerin says: “As a first step towards the formal merger early in 2014, we have decided to move into Chalmers & Co’s offices at 48 High Street, Haddington. Steven White and I will continue to operate as Alan Sheerin Associates in the meantime.
“Having been based in Sidegate for such a long time, we thought it would be helpful to our clients if we moved to our new address prior to the official merger date. For a long time Chalmers & Co have been our ‘friendly’ rivals in East Lothian’s architectural market, partly because my son, Fraser Sheerin, has been working for them for the last 8 years.
“I am very much looking forward to working collaboratively with Francis, David, Fraser and Jill, and continuing to promote quality architecture across East Lothian.”
With roots going back to 1966 as East Lothian’s original firm of chartered surveyors, Chalmers & Co set up an architectural team in 2002 under Eric Miller to complement the rural surveying, property letting and estate agency teams. Over the last 6 years, Chalmers & Co’s architectural team has further developed under chartered architect David Brackenridge, and has been working in particular on house extensions and refurbishments, agricultural buildings and steading redevelopments. They designed the award-winning Dunbar Community Bakery.
David previously worked for Aberdeen City Council, Burnett Pollock Associates and for upmarket East Lothian property developer, Dunglass Ltd, prior to joining Chalmers & Co. He has designed and developed many different projects including city centre housing developments and refurbishments, care homes across West Lothian and won a commendation in the Midlothian Design Awards for the sympathetic refurbishment of North Penicuik Kirk.
David Brackenridge from Chalmers & Co says:
“I am delighted that we’re merging both our practices because we have complementary client bases and experience. We have always prided ourselves on the level of service and care we provide our clients; with a larger technical team in house and a very strong network of local contacts, we’ll be able to offer clients of both businesses an even better level of service than currently. Chalmers & Co can also provide complementary valuation, property management and estate agency services.
“The timing is excellent as the property market is improving and developers are starting to return to the market.
“I very much look forward to working with Alan and Steven as they have extensive experience and a keen eye for practical, quality architecture.”
Alan Sheerin Associates will operate independently from 48 High Street, Haddington until the end of January 2014 when the official merger will take place. Alan Sheerin & Associates’ current office in Sidegate will become the new office of the Royal Volunteer Service (formerly the WRVS).