Swindon Recreation Center which inspired Oasis on the list of buildings at risk

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Swindon Recreation Center which inspired Oasis on the list of buildings at risk


A space-age recreation center that inspired Liam Gallagher to name his band Oasis, instead of The Rain, has been placed in the top 10 of Britain’s 20th-century buildings most at risk.

Swindon’s Oasis Leisure Center is on a list published every two years by the Twentieth Century Society, highlighting threats to more recent architectural heritage. High on the list is the Bull Yard shopping district in Coventry, while other buildings include London Town Hall and Swansea Civic Center.

The Leisure Center occupies an interesting – if not very rock’n’roll – place in British pop history as Gallagher thought it was a better name for a band he had just joined. It seems to be as easy as loving the name after seeing it listed as a location on an Inspiral Carpets Tour poster in the bedroom he shared with his brother Noel.

Noel, roadie for Inspiral Carpets, quickly joined the group and it was Oasis, not The Rain, that became one of the greatest groups in British music history.

The recreation center is also “of national architectural significance,” the company said. Described as a “fantastic structure”, the Oasis has swimming pools, water slides and a 45m transparent “flying saucer” dome. The company described him as a “rare and important survivor” of municipal recreation centers created for fun and families rather than training and competition.

Inside the pool in the center. Photographie: Nick Osborne / Alamy

It was announced last year that the center would not reopen after the pandemic with plans to be part of a £ 270million redevelopment that includes a ski resort. This would involve a demolition which the company opposes. He moved to protect the building with a registration app.

The Bull Yard shopping district in Coventry tops the company’s list due to a proposed 15-acre downtown redevelopment plan. The council says it is trying to make Coventry fit for the 21st century, but campaigners are calling for repair, not demolition.

The Bull Yard in Coventry tops the company’s risk list. Photography: Fabio De Paola / The Observer

Coventry is this year’s city of British culture presenting, said Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, “a great opportunity for the council to showcase its post-war buildings, but unfortunately it largely ignored our concerns as it continues to disregard its duty to properly protect the city’s important post-war architectural heritage ”.

The Town Hall designed by Norman Foster in London.
The Town Hall designed by Norman Foster in London. Photographie: Alastair Grant / AP

City Hall, the distinctive glass building designed by Norman Foster that opened near Tower Bridge in London in 2002, is in danger, campaigners say, as the mayor, Sadiq Khan, transfers the Greater London Authority to the Royal Docks in Newham.

Swansea Civic Center, an imposing Brutalist-style building constructed in two phases between 1979 and 1984, was slated for demolition as part of a plan to regenerate the town center and the waterfront.

Swansea Civic Center has been earmarked for demolition as part of a waterfront redevelopment plan.
Swansea Civic Center has been earmarked for demolition as part of a waterfront redevelopment plan. Photographie: Athena Picture Agency / Alamy

The company said only one 20th century Welsh county hall was listed, Newport’s Shire Hall built in 1902, “compared to several listed examples from the 19th century.” The C20 company is strongly opposed to the demolition and has submitted a request for the building to be classified as grade II. “

The other buildings in the top 10 are The Lawns residences at the University of Hull; the former headquarters of the London Electricity Board in Bethnal Green; the Cressingham Gardens development in Tulse Hill, south London; Derby meeting rooms; The Modernist seat of the Shropshire Council, Shirehall, in Shrewsbury; and the Halifax Pool and its ceramic murals depicting British pond life.

The company said there was little good news from the 10 cases on the previous list in 2019. Two buildings have been demolished and there are no positive results for the others yet.

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