Telford Studio Project

Keith McIntyre

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


In 1825 Parliament commissioned the engineer Thomas Telford to design a church that could be constructed in the more remote parts of the highlands and islands of Scotland. 32 of these buildings were finally completed creating new parishes in isolated rural communities. A number still operate as churches today although many were abandoned during 'The Disturbances' between the established Church and the newly created Free Church. 'An engine for praying' is how the ecclesiastical scholar Dr Michael Whyte describes Telford's concept. Working with the Edinburgh Architect Derek Patience, McIntyre's project examines how a new multi-disciplinary studio space and culture for production and reflection could evolve in response to Telford's simple yet effective design. An abandoned roofless Telford Church on the small Hebridean Island of Berneray was completely restored as a contemporary art studio with living accommodation. The project was the subject of a 1 hour documentary on Channel 4 in "The Restoration Man' series broadcast in January 2013 (with subsequent numerous broadcasts on the 4seven and 4More channels + broadcasts on Australian networks.) The studio is also the home of the Thomas Telford Parliamentary Church archive created by Neil Livingston, who was an engineer for RCAHMS (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland) The project was short-listed for the Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland / Royal Institute of British Architects awards in 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jan 2013

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