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Last week BOP Associate, Barbara McKissack attended one of the most highly anticipated events of the year so far – NVA’s Hinterland at the modernist masterpiece of St Peter’s Seminary on the west coast of Scotland. 


Audiences were offered a glimpse of what is in store over the coming years, as this derelict building and surrounding woodland is to be transformed into an important new heritage and cultural destination.


From the first glimpse of the majestic cantilever towering over the landscape – dramatically lit and glowing brightly against the sky – the audience were drawn through great internal chambers, with dramatic light adding to the juxtaposition of ethereal music and in-your-face graffiti. A vivid green skull shines brightly above an altar in the underground crypt, while in the grand hall, tagged the Pleasure Scene of illicit raves over the years, brings the ceremony up to date with a huge wrecking ball style incense burner. Marking 50 years since the foundation stone was first laid, this is the centrepiece launch of the Festival of Architecture in Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and a testimony to its breath-taking architecture and awe-inspiring innovation and design.



A new future

As announced last week, this new future for St Peter’s comes following a £4.2million funding injection from the HLF and Creative Scotland. A major investment - of which BOP provided some assistance in putting together the business case - will see key elements of the building restored to host large-scale events and performance, as well as smaller community activities. This transformation will extend into the surrounding 104-acre rural estate, with a path network based on the original 19th-century designed landscape to be reinstated, historic bridges restored and the Victorian walled garden brought back into productive use.


The plans for the site are ambious, with Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA, stating:


“This is a historic moment in the life of St Peter’s Seminary. We are now able to start work on its permanent transformation into an international cultural centre that will speak to the creative life of Europe… We have real hope that our vision for progressive, socially-focused art will connect strongly with people and together we will forge a new place for public art and its significance in the world.”

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By BOP Consulting

Barbara McKissack

Associate Director

Barbara is an Associate Director at BOP with expertise in broadcasting and in a wide spectrum of the arts and creative industries.

Barbara McKissack - Associate Director | BOP Consulting

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Barbara McKissack

Barbara McKissack

Associate Director