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- Category: A
- Date Added: 06/08/1992
- Local Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Planning Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Parish: Cardross
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 35304 78404
- Coordinates: 235304, 678404
I Metzstein, J Cowell and A McMillan of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, 1966. Seminary buildings, originally linked to Kilmahew House (now demolished) consisting of a large main block, 4-storey over a partly raised basement accommodating chapel, refectory and study bedrooms; 2-storey over raised basement, lecture theatre/library block joined at right angles to main block; single storey kitchen wing (now partly demolished) linking the main block to Kilmahew House; 2-storey convent wing formerly adjoined to Kilmahew House to N. Concrete slab and column construction, brown pebble facings to precast concrete slab cladding; interior of main block with non-structural vaulted ceiling of metal lath and plaster.
MAIN BLOCK: 184 x 84 ft. Clustered concrete columns to basement with sunken undercroft. Supporting columns running through the ground floor to support pyramid formed by 3 upper bedroom/study floors, expressed externally by a series of superimposed cantilevers in a stepped ziggurat-like elevation of precast concrete slab cladding. Chapel at S end flanked by a silo-like side chapels, top-lit form half domes. Chapel top-lit at liturgical E end. Altar with ramp descending around behind down to sacristy and lower chapels. Hall and staircase area between chapel and refectory at N end. Upper storeys vaulted and stepped-back reflecting exterior elevation, interior access balconies at each level open to central space. Pine panelled and random-spaced timber mullions to windows (now mostly gone). In-situ reinforced concrete escape stair to N end, cantilevered from a reinforced concrete chimney.
LECTURE THEATRE/LIBRARY BLOCK: 2-storey over raised basement. Basement with perimeter precast concrete columns, formerly housing library and recreational rooms. Glazed upper storey formerly housed classroom. Top storey supported on 4 large internal columns with beams carrying cantilevered projections up to 40ft at both ends with in-situ concrete wall board-marked in a diagonal herring-bone pattern. This floor originally houses top-lit lecture theatres.
SERVICE/KITCHEN WING: single storey. Harled. Small windows irregularly placed, now blocked.
CONVENT: cluster of small rooms most with curved walls, harled and pierced with small windows partly set in under cantilevered almost rectangular-plan upper storey. Harled at ground, concrete slab and column construction with brown-pebble facings to precast concrete slab cladding to upper storey.
Statement of Special Interest
St Peter's seminary was commissioned in 1958 by the Archbishop of Glasgow. Now redundant it has been systematically vandalised and is now reduced to a ruinous skeleton. Designed by innovative architects, Metzstein and McMillan (who ran the Gillespie, Kidd and Coia architectural practice after the war (overseen by Jack Coia) it is hailed as one of the finest modern buildings of the day and was recognised as such when it was awarded the prestigious RIBA Architecture award in 1967. Influenced by the architecture of Le Corbusier and in particular his monastery of La Tourette, they took the traditional monastic plan and reshaped it to form a totally modern idiom in terms of planning, of interrelated spaces which are expressed on the exterior by the change of form and materials and with technical virtuousity they achieved a complex of buildings of amazing effects and sculptural quality. Kilmahew House was demolished in 1995 following fire damage.
'Scottish Seminary' Concrete Quarterly Jan-mar 1967. 'Review of New Seminary St Peter's College, Cardross THE CLERGY REVIEW March 1967. COUNTRY LIFE July 27th 1967. INTERIOR DESIGN August 1967. Peter Willis NEW ARCHITECTURE IN SCOTLAND (1977), pp56-59.
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