Sarah McLeary

Ceramics and Architecture

St Peter’s Seminary – Hinterland

In 2014 we went on a trip to see St Peter’s Seminary, the concrete ruin in Cardross. It’s ‘out of bounds’, but well known that you can walk around at your own risk. There’s a really special atmosphere. The concrete is really beautiful, the shapes of the repeating arches stepping up are reflected in the water and bounce sound and light around in unusual ways.1932571_10152389573875956_4212080155277121065_o

Here’s a painting that a friend’s dad has, I think it’s wonderful. I can’t imagine that in the future a building I have designed would make such a gorgeous ruin. There’s no above-ground in situ concrete in my portfolio10291706_10152501205221474_968544685826742441_n

As part of the Festival of Architecture, and to kick off the regeneration of the ruined building, a week long event was held. Called ‘Hinterland’ it seemed to me to exploit the existing state of the building, the size, the location, the shadows and form, the massing and everything that already makes the building unique. After all, we had driven across Scotland to see the ruin, you don’t need to do much more to make people want to visit, it’s an incredible artwork.

The event was a sound, light and performance piece. I won’t describe the piece, it was very simple, and brought up lots of questions for me about the nature of the building and how important it is. The attendees (audience) were encouraged along a promenade. Having visited previously gave another dimension to the evening, as we remembered the previous state of the site. A lot of work had gone into clearing out debris, but the graffiti remains.

Here are some photos of the night.


I find this image particularly strong. A simple rectangle was projected over the arch soffits, moving across slowly.



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This entry was posted on April 26, 2016 by in architecture.


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