St Peter’s College – Cardross Seminary Cardross, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK; 1961-66 (abandoned, 80’s)
Gillespie Kidd & Coia (Isi Metzstein, J. Cowell and Andy MacMillan as architects in charge); W. V. Zinn & Associates as consulting engineers (photographs by Crispin Eurich)
«'Architecture’ it was recently said (and should be said more often) ‘is people’. Quite naturally, therefore, it is impossible to regard this building and its cool vaulted spaces without the soutaned young men who occupy it. The sounds which echo round the vaults vary from the spirituality of evensong, sung with the candles flickering against the darkening windows, to the strictly material clamour of young men seeing who can get to the billiard table first. If we think that the training of priests is designed to remove them from the realities of the modern world, we are wrong: these boys will be as much at home with the transistor as with the rosary – as much at home in a good modern building as in some ancient cloister.»
This was once a Roman Catholic Seminary, and it was built in an unusual concrete, modernist, blockish style. It has the title of “building a world significance” and is considered to be the most important example of modernist architecture in Scotland. Personally I don’t like it, the design seems very brutal and cold. It was closed due to maintenance difficulties caused by its unusual design. Nowadays it resembles a strange urban ruin full of graffiti art and satanic symbols. During my visit, some random people made a bonfire on the altar. You can see the full set on my Flickr.