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Future secured for St Peter’s Seminary following £4.2m grant

March 25 2016

Future secured for St Peter’s Seminary following £4.2m grant
The future of Gillespie Kidd & Coia’s modernist masterpiece St Peter’s Seminary has been secured following the award of a £4.2m grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Creative Scotland.

This will enable NVA to press ahead with an ambitious plan to transform the crumbling structure, purpose built as a college for students of theology, into an arts and heritage destination.

Currently the scene for an ambitious public art event, Hinterland, the site will be sensitively restored and consolidated to provide a venue for events, performances and other activities.

John Allan, of Avanti Architects, said: “At last, after ten years of engagement with the monumental challenges presented by St Peter’s, we can move from words to deeds.

“The Hinterland event is already revealing the power and poetry of this extraordinary place to an international audience. Now we can embark on the task of making St Peter’s a permanent and inspirational venue for creativity, learning and debate. It will surely be the outstanding heritage rescue project of our time.”

Brian McGinlay, Consultant with NORD Architecture, added: "The development project over the past two years in particular has been faced with many obstacles and challenging hurdles on the way but has always been highly rewarding.

“To the building, the recent environmental cleaning & vault stabilisation works has realised the projects initial milestone. Truly fascinating and technically innovative in its process we have worked closely and carefully to uncover this 'almost lost' modernist & international architectural masterpiece making once again safe & accessible for all to experience this incredible crafted & sculpted structure.”

To enable this a triple-height chapel will be turned into a 600 capacity venue and a former crypt below will be harnessed as an atmospheric exhibition space.

Beyond the brutalist landmark the 104 acre estate within which it sits will also be revamped by ERZ, with paths reinstated, bridges restored and a Victorian walled garden brought back into use.

Photography by Alan McAteer
Seven thousand people have travelled to Cardross to see NVA's amalgam of sound, light and performance
Seven thousand people have travelled to Cardross to see NVA's amalgam of sound, light and performance
The Kilmahew / St Peter’s project has been developed over the past eight years under the direction of NVA
The Kilmahew / St Peter’s project has been developed over the past eight years under the direction of NVA


Big Chantelle
#1 Posted by Big Chantelle on 28 Mar 2016 at 08:02 AM
Failed concrete modernist dump which wiz so badly designed fur itz originul purpose that it ceased tae be used. Aye, some masterpiece! #leftylogic

Rather than admit it wiz a failure and tae tear it doon so it doesnae blot the landscape like a giant plook on a bum cheek, the lefty brigade are throwing £millions at it during a time ae economic austerity just so that fellow lefties can make pilgrimages tae this "masterpiece" an muse aboot its greatness. A greatness that naewan wae eyesight can see. But again, wit do us weirdos know. Och, at least it isnae pastiche.............

Isn't it funny how aw these beautiful stane built churches and theology centurs -- ya know, tradtional stuff -- seems tae last so much better than the concrete and pebble dash stuff. Funny that.

But nice tae know that whilst many cannae even feed themselves, a fund (from people's money) is being made available to pander tae the indulgences ae lefties so that they can play at culture warriors savin an architecture masterpiece which isnae an actual masterpiece.

The sistene chapel ceilin is a masterpiece. This isnae. Nae matter how much pishy patter yoos use tae say it is. Am no buying it.

Money being wasted as far as um concerned. Several hundred thoosand fur Charretes in Govan, half a million on a temporary George square surface that looks like sumone sticky glued sand doon oan the flare and noo this.

When will lefties stop wastin oor money on their fetishes?
Auntie Nairn
#2 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 28 Mar 2016 at 14:06 PM
Well thank goodness you didn't have a say in the award, as your rhetoric is just as entrenched and dumbfounded as those you claim to despise so much.
#3 Posted by Lee on 29 Mar 2016 at 20:21 PM
Can we please be aware that we speak with an accent and not write with an accent.

After visiting St Peter's for the Hinterland event, I was suitably impressed. The building's concrete seemed in remarkable condition, which when illuminated created a tremendous atmosphere. Staff on hand were great at explaining the original purpose of each space.
Surprisingly, there was a fantastic amount of graffiti, most to a high standard. I hope any renovation will take care to preserve the finest examples.
#4 Posted by RJB on 30 Mar 2016 at 09:05 AM
#1 surely you mean mastapeaze instead of masterpiece
#5 Posted by ! on 30 Mar 2016 at 21:39 PM
Sometimes it's just a pleasure to participate in, and enjoy creative things. Things that are out of the ordinary, things that spark a conversation or reaction, or even just things that give a degree of interest to the lives of those people who seek to enjoy it. Everyone has their interests and I don’t actually remember seeing anyone being held there against their will after all…

This was one of those rare occasions when something different was presented to us simple earth-folk and offered those who wanted it, a break from the monotony of regular life with some escapism. If life isn’t for these types of things then what’s the point? We watch films to escape, we read books to escape, we even drink to escape….so why can’t we visit buildings/installations like this to escape without constantly having to refer back to austerity and how we should all be ashamed to spend money on things we enjoy?

Yes we are in a time of austerity (when aren't we) but sometimes you need to drop all that tedious rhetoric and just indulge in the now. Life isn’t always fair and we all know that but it doesn’t need to take over every aspect of our lives, all the time. The entire production could have cost £500m for all I care. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’d pay my hard earned money to go again. It’s what I work for after all.

Whether you like the building or whether the installations are to your taste or not - who cares. I did, and that’s the most important thing – to me at least and isn’t that what matters after all?

If you don't like it, then jog on.
#6 Posted by Sven on 31 Mar 2016 at 22:31 PM
I cannot get the fetish thrill that some people get from this failed building. It was always poorly designed for the local climate and lets face it was a ruin within a few decades. Yes the design is vaguely interesting but it has been recorded many times. There would be zero loss to knock the building down and erect something worthy of the site. Jsut my humble opinion.

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