A stunning short film of Hinterland, created by cinematographer and filmmaker Julian Schwanitz, has just been launched online in collaboration with BBC Arts. The film reflects the powerful animation of St Peter’s Seminary by NVA which launched Scotland’s Festival of Architecture earlier in the year.
50 years ago two young architects, Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein, designed this striking masterpiece of international late modernism. Set near the banks of the Firth of Clyde, the clean lines of such post-war British architecture stood as an antidote to the disasters of Fascism. It reflected the desire for social change, embodying in bricks and mortar the hope that recent horrors might give way to a peaceful future.
Yet in the years after it closed as a training college for young priests, it was as a ruin that the seminary took on a new creative life and purposes. Graffiti was sprayed, films shot, photographs taken and paintings drawn. Whether they intended it or not, the artists and vandals who illegally occupied St Peter’s piloted a new form of regeneration.
Last year we raised the money to clean out the years of accumulated asbestos and filth and start the slow process of healing this wounded giant, knowing that it was on its last legs. In the process the sheer poetry of the original design was re-revealed and amplified within the Hinterland production. The film captures the first steps towards reclaiming the building and landscape and bringing them back into productive use as a national platform for public art and debate.
Watch the film online at https://vimeo.com/172397263
Read the BBC Arts feature here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0499ttr