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Getty Foundation awards cash to conserve UK Modernist masterpieces

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The Getty Foundation has announced grants towards conservation work on Coventry Cathedral and St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross

Basil Spence’s 1962 cathedral and Gillespie, Kidd & Coia’s soon-to-be-restored 1961 seminary are named among a dozen 20th Century buildings around the globe to received a total of $1.66 million from the foundation’s Keeping it Modern fund.

A £132,000 grant to Coventry Cathedral will allow a team of conservation specialists and architects to create a conservation management plan at the cathderal. The Getty Foundation said: ‘Although the modern cathedral has been in good care, 50 years of continuous use has resulted in the patina of age and some mechanical failures of building services, making the space unsuitable for contemporary demands.’

Spence’s design, resurrecting the cathedral Church of St Michael that was destroyed by heavy bombing during the Second World War, was a radical break from tradition, but also incorporated the ruins of the original church.

St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross, Argyll and Bute, receives a £112,000 cash handout from the fund. NVA is currently undertaking a £7.3 million overhaul of the building, which will see the abandoned 50-year-old Category A-listed Brutalist structure transformed into an international arts centre.

The foundation said: ‘After 30 years of dormancy, many despaired that the complex was beyond repair and could not be salvaged. Now, after thoughtful research and a feasibility study, stewards are seeking a new life for the site as a performance space, cultural venue, and exhibition centre. This creative adaptive reuse cannot happen, however, until the remaining structure is stabilized and conserved.

‘Practitioners will conduct a comprehensive diagnostic analysis and log every individual element of the structure’s frame and pre-cast panelling, ascertaining the varying deterioration states of concrete throughout the complex.’

Model of the proposed restoration of St Peter's Seminary in Cardross

Model of the proposed restoration of St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross

Source: NORD

Model of the proposed restoration of St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross

Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation, said: ‘Over the past three years, we have given 45 Keeping It Modern grants in 22 countries, and we bring together experts working on the conservation projects each summer to share their findings.

‘Together our colleagues are building a critical body of knowledge for the stewardship of modern buildings.’

The other sites granted funding are:

  • Boston City Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (architects: Kallmann, McKinnell, & Knowles)
  • Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex, Sidi Harazem, Morocco (architect: Jean-François Zevaco)
  • Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan (architect: Kenzo Tange)
  • Faculty of Architecture Building, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey (architects: Altuğ and Behruz Çinici)
  • Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil (architect: Lina Bo Bardi)
  • Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, India (architect: Le Corbusier)
  • Price Tower, Bartlesville, Oklahoma (architect: Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Melnikov House, Moscow, Russia (architect: Konstantin Melinkov)
  • Bauhaus Building in Dessau, Germany (architect: Walter Gropius)
  • Stadio Flaminio, Rome, Italy (architect: Pier Luigi Nervi)

Tony Fretton in Melnikov House

Tony Fretton in Melnikov House

Tony Fretton in the Melnikov House

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