Central library earns national commendation

October 21, 2009

Swindon Central Library has won a national commendation in the prestigious RICS Awards, it was announced recently. The news came at a special ceremony held at the Honourable Artillery Company in London.

The Library was built for Swindon Borough Council by Willmott Dixon Construction. It narrowly missed winning the top Sustainability Category award but was singled out for a special commendation by national judges because of the efficient use of resources and provision of a sustainable environment which meets the needs of people now, as well as future generations.

Earlier in the year (May) Swindon Central Library won the South West regional Sustainability Award, qualifying it to go forward to the final where it was up against international schemes as well as others from across the UK.

James Gregory, RICS South West Regional Chair and a partner at Alder King in Swindon, said: “This is terrific news for our town. The RICS Awards are acknowledged as among the most prestigious accolades given to buildings which attain the highest standards. Not only does the Library tick the box in terms of sustainability but it also makes a very important contribution to the community. These are achievements which have now been recognised at national level by a demanding judging panel.”

The original brief for the Library was to provide a vibrant appealing image that also fitted within the character and fabric of Swindon town centre.  Occupying the site of the 40 year old ‘temporary’ library, it houses all the features of the modern library, including café, 60 public access computers and zones for different user groups and reading formats over four floors.

Awards were presented by Kevin McCloud of television’s Grand Designs, with the top prize in the Sustainability category going to Mirvac School of Sustainable Development at Bond University, Queensland, Australia.

National finalists in the category this year included, among others:  Silberardo, a sustainable urban living project in Stuttgart, Bowbridge Primary School in the East Midlands and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford upon Avon.

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