Friday, March 29, 2019

46 Years at the Centre of Swindon

The Plaza overall roof. The engineering influence of railway station train sheds can clearly be seen.

Today marks the 46th birthday of the Brunel Shopping Centre. It's importance to Swindon cannot be underestimated, it sits at the physical heart of the town centre.

Architecturally, it still impresses, if you take the time to look. From the delivery spirals on Farnsby Street and Commercial Road, to the smart overall roof above the Plaza, the echoes of railway station engineering in it's design still sound through.

The roof design : simple, elegant and substantive. The blue skies and white cloud mixes with the floor tiling on the Plaza below.

Practically for shoppers it gives lots of walking routes, in whichever direction you might be going. Modern planners and architects are keen (as are clients and developers) to produce developments with effective permeability. The Brunel has been doing it well for nearly half a century!

The majority of the centre's walkways are lit by natural daylight. Even on cloudy days, natural light easily penetrates down to the ground floor.

With The Crossing, well cultivated mix of chains and independents, and good sense of retail theatre (the prominent new fruit and veg stall being the latest welcome move), this 46 year old is serving Swindon well.

Plus it has two architecture awards* under it's belt!

* RIBA South West Regional Award 1977 and the Constrado Steel Award 1978.


The Brunel Shopping Centre