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St. Peter's Seminary: 'La Tourette' With "Scottish Inspirations"

In an article for The Guardian, Rowan Moore explores the state and future of the Grade A listed Brutalist Seminary of St. Peter, "where the influence of Le Corbusier’s monastery of La Tourette combines with [...] Scottish inspirations." Although the building is often seen as wholly unique in the canon of religious buildings, it is still comprised of traditional elements - "cloister, chapel, refectory, cells - but rearranged over multiple levels in unexpected ways, alternately enclosing and opening up to its surroundings."

Avanti and NORD Selected to Revitalize St Peter’s Seminary in Scotland

Restored chapel visualisation. Image Courtesy of James Johnson
Restored chapel visualisation. Image Courtesy of James Johnson

London-based Avanti Architects, along with Glasgow-based ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architects, have released the first image of their design to revitalize one of Scotland’s modern masterpieces: St Peter’s seminary. Designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia in 1966, and built on the former Kilmahew estate, the Category-A listed Brutalist structure was voted as the best modern building in Scotland by readers of Prospect Magazine in 2005. However, the building has been abandoned for the past 25 years, leaving it dilapidated and facing numerous problems.

Public art charity NVA is leading a  £7.3 million initiative to rehabilitate the building and its surrounding landscape to create an art, heritage and educational site. The designs include a performing arts venue with a 600-person capacity, informal indoor and outdoor teaching spaces across the 144 acre site and over 4 kilometres of woodland paths. In addition, the site will contain a heritage exhibition and a locally-led productive garden.

Historical 1967 View towards the stepped glass roof. Image  Chapel rooflight detail. Image Courtesy of GKC Archive Processional Ramp 1967. Image Courtesy of GKC Archive Side altars 1967. Image Courtesy of GKC Archive

Prinsessegade Kindergarten and Youth Club Winning Proposal / COBE + NORD Architects

Aimed at being a city for kids, the Prinsessegade Kindergarten and Youth Club Winning Proposal by COBE + NORD Architects, in collaboration with PK3 and Grontmij, will be the largest daycare center in all of Denmark. It also presents a big challenge – how to avoid creating a daycare factory when building an institution for so many users. Their design is not just one huge building, but rather a cluster of many small and varied buildings, grouped around two central streets that connect to the surrounding city structure. Like Copenhagen, it has different neighborhoods, different houses, different public spaces, squares and parks. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Carlsberg, Plot 8 Winning Proposal / Various Architects

A partnership of five Danish architectural firms – Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, Christensen & Co Architects a/s, COBE, NORD Architects and Effekt – won the competition to build the largest private development in Denmark, including Denmark’s highest residential tower. The setting is the former industrial compound of Danish brewery giant Carlsberg in central Copenhagen. This historic context frames one of the most important urban developments in creating the future Copenhagen. The new city is to be developed over the next 25 years and will host a program of education, housing, culture business and recreational areas. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Venice Biennale 2012: Danish Pavilion presents 'Possible Greenland'

Migrating. Sports Plaza, Winter / Possible Greenland; Courtesy of DAC
Migrating. Sports Plaza, Winter / Possible Greenland; Courtesy of DAC

The Danish Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale will feature a collaboration between Greenlandic and Danish Architects called “Possible Greenland”. The exhibition will address the current development of the Arctic Region as Greenland undergoes a shift towards political independence and business development in the midst of dramatic climate changes. “Possible Greenland” attempts to look optimistically at the climate changes that are causing ice melts throughout Greenland. The shifting planes result in the exposure of vast mineral resources that can kickstart new industries and allow new urban cultures to emerge.  The team of architects that designed “Possible Greenland” were led by internationally renowned Professor in geology at the University of Copenhagen, Minik Rosing and the young Danish architect firm NORD Architects of Copenhagen. Explore the possibilities with us after the break.

NORD announced as architect for Maggie’s Forth Valley

Maggie’s has proudly announced that the Glasgow architects of NORD have agreed to design the Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert. The principle funder from Walk the Walk is expecting a “beautiful, unique and ground breaking building” from the award winning practice who was established in 2002 and has become known for their distinctive projects that often draw inspiration from social and cultural issues. This news comes shortly after Norman Foster and Steven Holl were announced as the next architects of two new Maggie’s Centers in south Manchester at the Christie Hospital and in London at St. Barts. Director of NORD, Alan Pert said: “This is a fantastic way to celebrate 10 years of NORD and we look forward to working with the amazing team behind this network of centres.  At a recent visit to the Maggies London Headquarters we came across a collection of architectural models of the various centres built over the years including Richard Murphy’s first one from 1996. It is an incredible achievement that so many of these buildings have been realized and to contribute to this vision is a huge privilege.” Continue reading for more.

NORD Architects wins new healthcare center competition

NORD Architects/MIR
NORD Architects/MIR

The young office NORD Architects has won the competition for a new healthcare center for cancer patients in Copenhagen, Denmark. The winning design is founded by principles of healing architecture and at the same time it suggests aesthetics which are in contrast with that of a conventional health institution. The design is an elaboration on the recognizable contour and scale of a house. At the same time the design becomes an iconographic building, as the small individual houses are interconnected by a sculptural roof structure. The building is enriched by the close relation to the surrounding landscape consisting of an inner courtyard, several terraces and themed gardens. The design will be realised in collaboration with Hellerup Byg, Bravida Danmark, Wessberg Ingeniører and Metopos Landscape. More images after the break.