Great Glasshouse tribute to Nigel Curry

A key individual behind one of Wales’s most iconic modern landmarks will be commemorated in Carmarthenshire on Saturday (June 1st).

The life of Nigel Curry, the hugely talented project architect for the stunning Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden Wales, will be celebrated with the unveiling of a marble bench in his memory.

Located in the Great Glasshouse, the shape of the carved and inscribed bench, designed by colleague Narinder Sagoo with local sculptor Darren Yeadon and funded by his wider group of friends and family, takes inspiration from the hemispherical building itself. Its flat surface and size, which corresponds to Nigel’s exact height of 6 foot 3 inches, has been designed to allow visitors not only to sit and enjoy the sights and smells of Mediterranean climate zones from around the world, but also to lie back and contemplate the dome’s curving glass roof and the sky beyond.

Nigel, who formerly worked at Lord (Norman) Foster’s practice, Foster + Partners, passed away late last year after living with cancer for some years, aged just 48. Although he later went on to work on other major international projects, the Garden’s instantly recognisable “teardrop in the landscape” always held a special place in his affections – so much so that Nigel’s wedding to Helen in 2006 was the first to be held there.

Helen, Nigel’s wife, remembers: “Getting married to Nigel in the Great Glasshouse made the day even more special and gave us the most impressive backdrop to our wedding photos.”

Speaking for Foster + Partners, partner Narinder Sagoo commented: “Remembering Nigel through the creation of a unique and practical work of art that people can enjoy for generations to come is the perfect way to pay tribute to the unique set of skills that Nigel brought to tackling a challenge as big as the Great Glasshouse. The pure shape of the bench and the attention to its detail, very much represents Nigel as an architect and as a person.  He will be much missed and we feel that this a fitting place to commemorate his achievements.”

National Botanic Garden director, Dr Rosie Plummer said: “We are very proud to have this wonderful building of international renown here at the Garden. It is a truly fabulous construction and a modern wonder of Wales.”