St Peter's Seminary. Photograph. 2011 Left: detail. Right: site specific installation at the Laban Centre / architects Herzog and de Meuron

St Peter's Seminary. Photograph. 2011
Left: detail. Right: site specific installation at the Laban Centre / architects Herzog and de Meuron


ST PETER'S SEMINARY

St Peter’s Seminary is regarded as the apex of the collaboration between architects MacMillan and Mezstein and the Catholic Church of Scotland on an unprecedented number of projects during the post-war building boom. The architects referencing of Le Corbusier is so assertive that it is possible to read St Peter’s Seminary as a condensed composite of Corbusian quotations. Reputed as a modernist ruin, the Seminary has been reduced to its concrete skeleton, picturesque within its woodland surroundings.

This movement intervention features two figures that together form a larger mass perched on slender legs, echoing the bulk of the main building that was built atop stilts. The woman in the fore gazes out as if seeking an idealised reflection in a now non-existent glass. This conjoined Narcissus refuses to acknowledge disappointment or a sense of failure, an embodied representation of the narcissism of the Seminary’s architects or Le Corbusier’s architectural practice.