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Church takes first steps to saving Modern masterpiece Cardross

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A glimmer of hope has finally emerged for the derelict St Peter's Seminary in Cardross, Scotland - widely regarded as the best Modern building in Scotland (AJ 14.09.06).

Avanti Architects has been appointed to carry out a £70,000 conservation study on Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's masterpiece.

The hugely significant building - which is largely credited to Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan - has been allowed by its owner, the Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow, to fall in to a chronic state of disrepair.

But now archdiocese bosses have commissioned Avanti's John Allen, who has carried out several successful renovations of Modern buildings, to assess whether or not Cardross can be saved.

This move has been welcomed by Penny Lewis, a leading member of campaign group the Cardross Trust.

'Avanti is a very good practice and John Allen has a track-record on this kind of work,' she said.

'We had seen a brief for the conservation study and it had not looked promising. But this seems better and there does appear to be more money available for it than we had first expected.'

Quite how the archdiocese will use the study is not clear - it has long appeared uninterested in looking after the building in its ownership.

Avanti's appointment does come just a few months before an important retrospective of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's work at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.

by Ed Dorrell

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