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Swift hotel consultation

17 November 2010

by Ellis Selway

Andrew has been commissioned by Cambridge City Council to design a swift tower to provide cosy homes for up to 100 pairs of swifts arriving after their epic migration from Africa. Numbers of swifts in the UK are in decline.

View the design (Sun 1 and Sun 2) and artist statement.

Andrew Merritt said: “Artists tend to observe and commentate on society, I am more interested in art that explores inventive methods for art to play an active and functional role in society, especially focussing on bridging the gap between cities and nature.  The Cambridge Swift Tower, inspired by the African sun (as swifts migrate from Africa to Cambridge every year) will bring these elements to the City"

Cllr Clare Blair, Executive Councillor for Climate Change and Growth, said: “This is an exciting project which will not only provide a visual focal point and welcome addition to the public land besides the Bridge but will also create a new habitat for the swifts, which are in decline.”

Dick Newell, a swift advisor and member of the project steering group said: "Inspired by examples elsewhere in Europe, we had an imaginative idea that there should be Swift Towers in Britain too to compensate for the loss of breeding spaces in modern buildings. It's fantastic that our City Council has endorsed the idea, and that the first Swift Tower in Britain will shortly rise up on Pye Fen. Hats off to all who have made this dream come true!"

To comment on the proposals go to