We asked you to capture Swindon in all its architectural glory and so far, your response has been amazing. The competition doesn’t close until June 30th, so there is still plenty of time to submit your photos and be in with a chance of bagging a £300 Old Town shopping voucher bundle* plus a fab Sunday roast for two from The Bank.
We’ve already received stylish, sophisticated, dramatic and artistic images of Swindon Town Hall, Tadpole Garden Village, The Great Western Hospital, Angel Ridge, The David Murray John Tower, The Brunel Centre, the Village Hotel Shaw Ridge, Coate Water’s diving board, Hall & Woodhouse, National Trust’s Heelis HQ, Lydiard House, Rudi’s, Bath Road Methodist Church, the Old Town Bowl, the windmill at Windmill Hill, the Locarno, Mechanics Institute, the birdhouse at Town Gardens and a long etcetera.
That still leaves plenty of Swindon’s architectural big hitters to choose from. Here are a few suggestions for starters!
The Spectrum building (or “the Renault Building” as lots of locals still call it) was designed by Lord Foster and opened in 1982. Featuring yellow steel ‘umbrella masts’, the futuristic single-storey glass-walled building was also used as a backdrop in the Bond movie A View To A Kill in 1984. It now enjoys Grade II*-listed status and Roger Bowdler from English Heritage, says it is "one of the very finest examples of a hi-tech building".
In 1841 Swindon was chosen by the Great Western Railway as the site for its new manufacturing location. As a result, the GWR built the Railway Village, an estate of 300 houses for its workforce in the lowland area of New Swindon, near the canals. The neighbourhood is full of renowned buildings like the decaying Mechanics Institute and the well-preserved individual railway cottages but one unsung hero is the turreted former Railway Museum in Faringdon Road, now used by various local arts and youth groups.
At the more residential scale of architecture, we love Vilett’s House, number 42 Cricklade Street in Old Town. The Grade II listed property was heralded by the poet laureate and keeper of the architectural flame Sir John Betjeman as “the first architecture to appear in Swindon, that is to say the first conscious designing of a façade (and) one of the most distinguished town houses in Wiltshire”. Built in 1729, it is one of several Old Town buildings with large cellars, reputedly used for smuggling!
Turning to more modern buildings, the Cellular Ops building is a photo opp waiting to happen. Variously nicknamed the glass cigar, torpedo or the zeppelin, it sits on the edge of Peatmoor Lagoon. An experimental design of curved glazing and playfully complex interior structures was a former call centre. There is a linear horizontal block, which is clad in black insulating sheet material holding huge sheets of solar-shading capillary glass.
Another Visit Swindon modern favourite is the former Motorola Building. It won the award for best industrial building in the 1999 Structural Steel Design Awards. The high-tech exposed steelwork and roof-level services tube at 5.5m diameter is big enough to drive a car through, and proved irresistible to the producers of the Bond film The World Is Not Enough, starring Pierce Brosnan, who filmed at the location in 1999 using the factory as a double for a Turkey oil refinery.
Remember, by entering our #SwindonArchitecture2021 photo challenge you will have a chance of winning a £300 Old Town shopping voucher bundle, containing £50 vouchers for each of Food Magpie, Magnum Wine Shop, Oink, Kapada Vintage, Willoby’s Furniture and the Wood Street Food Hall. Plus a tasty Sunday roast for two from The Bank restaurant and bar in Wood Street.*
Taking part in Visit Swindon’s #SwindonArchitecture2021 photo challenge couldn’t be easier!
All you have to do is:
- ‘follow’ Visit Swindon on Instagram
- Then upload your photos to Instagram using the hashtag #SwindonArchitecture2021
The competition, which is subject to the terms and conditions of entry below, began on 01.04.2021 and closes on 30.06.2021, and the winning photo will be selected by a Visit Swindon panel headed by acclaimed Swindon photographer Mitchell Nelson.
- The Bank is a chic, informal, continental style brasserie.
- Food Magpie is a brand-new organic cafe, deli and shop in the heart of Old Town.
- Oink is Swindon's leading gallery for contemporary art, furniture, books and gifts.
- Kapada Vintage is a lifestyle store selling vintage clothes as well as independent brands.
- Magnum Wine stocks an unrivalled selection of wine, fizz and beer from all over the world.
- Willoby’s is a family furniture company with a passion for great furniture at great prices.
- Wood Street Food Hall - step back in time to traditional values, fresh, top-quality meat and fish.
Prizes kindly supported by Wigwam Property News – the ultimate property news and lifestyle platform covering Swindon and the surrounding areas. wigwamswindon.co.uk
*View full terms and conditions at visitswindon.org.uk