The Brutalist St Peter’s Seminary, considered integral to Scotland’s architectural heritage yet standing idle and crumbling for a quarter century, will be reclaimed in a major sensory intervention next year.

Hinterland is the name given to the ‘living sculpture’ of projection mapping, light installations, and a specially commissioned choral work that will occupy the rippling concrete structure between 18-27 March, launching Scotland’s Festival of Architecture (tickets go on sale today).

Hinterland Visualisation: James Johnson, courtesy of NVA
Visualisation: James Johnson, courtesy of NVA

This is the first chance for the wider public to experience Gillespie Kidd and Coia’s late modernist work – completed in 1966 – in its forest setting, 20 miles west of Glasgow.

Glasgow-based public art charity NVA is positioning the work as the kickoff for a permanent, evolving public arts platform at the seminary, including a 600-seat venue built into the original chapel. It was made possible by Avanti Architects, NORD Architecture, and ERZ Landscape Architects’ architectural excavation and partial restoration, commenced this past summer.

Gone is the debris and overgrowth that gave sanctuary to arsonists and trophy hunters.

‘Almost 50 years on from the day the seminary opened, we are witnessing the first positive steps towards a new purpose,’ says NVA’s creative director Angus Farquhar, who discussed the long-range programme with The Spaces in May. ‘One that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site’s history.’

According to Farquhar, total loss was avoided by the narrowest of margins. The partially restored building will be fully opened to the public in 2018.



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