Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Friday, 19 November 2010
St Peter's Seminary highlighted at Venice Biennale
Church interior of St Peter's Seminary before it fell into disrepair  (Image: Glasgow School of Art)
There are plans to redevelop the former seminary at Cardross

Plans to redevelop St Peter's Seminary in Cardross are to be highlighted at the prestigious Venice Biennale architectural festival.

It will form part of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, held as part of the biennale.

An international design competition is due to be launched in 2012 seeking plans for the site in Kilmahew.

Scotland is being represented in Venice by the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, British Council and NVA.

Place of learning

Screenings of the film Space and Light Revisited will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Murray Grigor first filmed the seminary in 1972 and followed this up with another visit to the site in 2009.

St Peter's Seminary was designed by Glasgow architects Gillespie, Kidd and Coia.

The Roman Catholic seminary, which belonged to the Archdiocese of Glasgow, was completed and consecrated in 1966.

The distinctive zig-zag design and concrete appearance soon brought architectural recognition to the site.

However, as numbers entering the religious life fell and with high maintenance costs, the decision was taken to close the college. In 1980 the site was deconsecrated and is now in a state of disrepair.

The World Monuments Fund, which works to preserve endangered cultural landmarks, added St Peter's College to its register in June 2007.

Part of the design for St Peter's Seminary by Gillespie, Kidd and Coia (Image: Glasgow School of Art)
St Peter's Seminary was designed by architects Gillespie, Kidd and Coia

Venice Biennale was established in 1895 and has a reputation for highlighting new trends in the international contemporary art scene.

This year's theme is People Meet in Architecture, with the event featuring displays, exhibitions, screenings and discussions.

Held every two years for a period of six months, the biennale draws art critics, collectors, museum directors and other arts professionals.

Most events are also open to the public and this year's exhibition has attracted more than 135,000 visitors so far.

Glasgow connection

Scotland has been represented at the biennale before with both The Lighthouse and Glasgow School of Art (GSA) taking part.

The influence of John Ruskin on design is due to be debated by artists, architects and academics at the biennale on Sunday. His theories on conservation are said to have shaped the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

A spokesman for the GSA said: "The Venice Biennale provides a unique forum for the future of St Peter's to be discussed and we are delighted that within that discussion, the GSA's Mackintosh Building and plans for a new building designed by Steven Holl may influence and inspire the debate."

GSA also held a competition where architects internationally were invited to submit plans for a new teaching and research centre, which will be located opposite the original Mackintosh Building in Garnethill, Glasgow.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh profile
13 Nov 09 |  Glasgow & W. Scot.


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