When the Archbishop of Glasgow commissioned a new seminary for St. Peter’s College in 1958, the Glasgow design firm of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia were given the brief – the result was a modernist Catholic teaching college built in reinforced concrete with lots of wood and glass. Opening in 1966, the next year it was awarded the prestigious Riba architecture award, but by 1980 it has closed – a victim of the decline in church membership.
The building now stands empty and decaying in the middle of a wood, outside the village of Cardross on the Firth of Clyde. Recently, it had a brief burst of notoriety as the location for a low-budget German porn movie – with the predictable Sun headline of “Porn Again Christians” 😉
The main building was lit on the lower levels by five light wells, looking uncannily like silos.
The three upper levels of the main building contained the individual accomodation cells along each side, with outside and inside balconies – privacy was minimal.
Despite all the concrete, the building is very light and open inside.
The main building is now the haunt of graffiti artists both good…
…and merely helpful.
Attached to the main building is the library complex – mostly made of wood, it’s now in a perilous state.
Off to one side stands a second, smaller building, with two curved-roof lecture theatres (one now collapsed) and a smaller accomodation block for staff and visitors.
This building is much more enclosed, requiring a torch.
Back in the main building, some parts are brutal, almost bunkerlike.
Whereas others are much more elegant.
It’s the ever-changing graffiti that makes the place so much fun, though 😉