Australia has lost another esteemed architect, this time in the nation’s capital where Alastair Swayn passed away on Thursday, 4 August.

The Scotland-born architect has been practicing in Australia since 1973 and been the director and office manager for Jackson Architecture’s Canberra studio since 1981.

During his time at the helm, the practice has become one of the most awarded in Australia, winning numerous Canberra Medallions from the Australian Institute of Architects for its local work.

Swayne was also the inaugural ACT government architect, a position he held until earlier this year when he retired due to illness.

Ken Maher, National President of the Australian Institute of Architects, released a statement on Friday expressing his condolences.

Vale Alastair Swayn

On behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects, National President Ken Maher has offered his sincere condolences to friends and family of Alastair Swayn following his passing on Thursday 4 August.

"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.

“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.  In addition, he has also encouraged and advised on a number of design competitions, as well as sitting on Design Review Panels.

“Alastair had a strong interest in the professional education of architects, as well as creating valuable links between education and practice as demonstrated by Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn’s support for the Institute’s ACT Graduate Prize.

“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," Maher said.

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.

As the Director in charge of the Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn architects office in Canberra since 1979, he led and guided this practice into an influential and substantial architectural consultancy.  During this period the practice has become 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. He 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.