The Oasis Leisure Centre closed in November 2020, after GLL surrendered their lease of the building. Since its closure, the building has sat in idle limbo with its future in doubt.
At the back end of 2020/early 2021 a small group of concerned citizens came together to form a Save the Oasis campaign. If you’re on social media you’ll find their Facebook page here.
A listing decision by Historic England is imminent. We’ll update this part of this website with that news as we get it.
A vital asset for Swindon
The Oasis is a vitally important asset for our town. One that we cannot afford to lose. It’s so much more than a fun swimming pool. It’s served Swindon well as a music and events venue as you’ll see from the posters by Swindon artist, Ken White that you’ll see on this site.
Further, it looms large in Swindon’s tourist offering. Surely an architecturally important and culturally significant facility like this should be integral to Swindon’s offering as a place where you’d want to live, play, work and do business? Not side-lined and threatened with demolition.
As is demonstrated on the June 2021 rally page, many Swindonians want the Oasis refurbished and made viable in its current form. We want the Oasis – not the North Star leisure centre.
Why does the Oasis matter?
There are many reasons why the Oasis matters and why we should preserve it. Those reasons range from architectural to environmental with cultural history and accessibility in the mix too. Here on Swindon Viewpoint, Born Again Swindonian (aka Angela Atkinson) speaks about that.
The Oasis represents many aspects about a period in Britain when Swindon became a key player in providing overspill space for London. These new communities formed attractive prospects for families. The Oasis opened in 1976, located between the 50s/60s expansion to the east of the town and the 70s/80s expansion to the west.
Its architectural significance is huge and in this article for the Architect’s Journal, architect Robert Guy explains why. Further, the 20th Century Society has placed the Oasis on their 2021 buildings at risk list.
‘ … It is the last major work of architectural partnership of Gillinson Barnett and Partners (GBP), where Peter Sargent and Clifford Barnett were senior partners, the pre-eminent designers of leisure centres during this period.
At Swindon a large free form pool was enclosed by a 45-metre dome (the largest of its type in Europe) composed of an aluminium frame with transparent PVC panels. The RIBA Guides to Modern Architecture described it as a ‘fantasy structure, its half-submerged dome resembling a flying-saucer.’
The Oasis is separated into a ‘wet side’, containing leisure pools and extensive waterslides, and ‘dry side’ for sports and recreation activities, the two being connected by the changing rooms, entrance hall and restaurant.
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