Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Life of architect who shaped 21st century Swindon to be celebrated

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Nic Newland with Princess Anne


The life of an architect who helped to shape Swindon in the 21st century will be celebrated at one of his best-known buildings – the town's central library.

Nic Newland joined Swindon Borough Council in as senior architect in 1999 and was head of architecture and construction management at the authority at the time of his sudden death in September. He was 63.

A plaque will be erected in his honour and a bench installed at the library courtyard which he designed.

The multi award-winning library, which was opened by Princess Anne in 2009, won a string of awards.

Meanwhile, Nic was involved in more than 90 school refurbishment and new-build projects throughout his 20-year career at Swindon Council.

His flexible modular Class Solutions school design, which utilises connecting timber-framed blocks to easily allow schools to be built, extended and adapted, can be seen in a number of newly-built schools in the Borough including Croft Primary School and Tadpole Primary School.

Children benefit from large classrooms that are free from obstructions, with windows that are closer to the ground to make it easier for children to see out of them.

A ventilation system monitors temperature and oxygen levels so that fresh air is circulated to maintain concentration and alertness among pupils.

Nic was also involved in regeneration projects including emergency work to keep the Mechanics’ Institute safe, and the redevelopment of Sussex Square.

David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “Nic went the extra mile to ensure the people who used his buildings were at the heart of his designs."