- Article by Online Editor
Above: Alastair Swayn, photo courtesy Australian Institute of Architects.
Alastair Swayn, former ACT Government Architect and director of architectural firm Daryl Jackson, died last Thursday.
The Australian Institute of Architects national president Ken Maher offered his sincere condolences to Swayn’s friends and family in a media release. “Alastair has made an incredible contribution to the profession, most recently through his tireless work as the inaugural ACT Government Architect, a role he undertook until early this year, and as a Professorial Fellow of the University of Canberra,” he said.
“As ACT Government Architect, Alastair made a significant contribution to the urban design of the City Centre leading to the creation of the City Plan in 2013, and the development of Urban Design Guidelines for the City Centre in 2015.
“Alastair was a thoughtful, sensitive and accomplished architect who was broadly recognised for his services to architecture, education and the public interest. He will be deeply missed by many across the full spectrum of the profession,” added Maher .
ACT Planning Minister Mick Gentleman and Barbara Schmidt, director of Zenith and close friend of Swayn, spoke to Alex Sloan on 666 ABC Canberra radio last Friday.
“He had an amazing social responsibility as an architect, and he really believed that architecture is there to create better spaces for human beings,” Schmidt said. “He will be sorely missed by everybody.”
Schmidt told Sloan that Swayn set up a foundation for architecture students, which will be explained in detail at his public memorial, while Gentleman announced an internship program aimed at supporting young and upcoming architects, which will be set up in Swayn’s honour.
Professor Swayn was ACT Chapter President from 1988 to 1990 and was made a Life Fellow in 2010. In 2016, he was bestowed the prestigious President’s Medal by ACT Chapter President Rob Henry.
During his time in charge of the Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn office in Canberra, the practice became one of the most awarded in Australia, winning numerous Canberra Medallions from the Institute for its local work, and being recognised as a leader in sustainable design. Swayn was also a director of Daryl Jackson International Limited, with offices in London and Berlin, and Jackson Architecture, which has offices in Melbourne, Sydney Canberra and Brisbane.
A public memorial for Alastair Swayn will be held at the Ann Harding Centre at 3:30pm on Wednesday 7 September.