Atkins unveils world’s largest equine sculptures in Helix Park, Scotland

7 May 2014 (Last Updated May 7th, 2014 18:30)

UK-based design, engineering and project management firm Atkins has unveiled two 300t, 30m tall horse heads named Kelpies in Scotland, UK.

Atkins

UK-based design, engineering and project management firm Atkins has unveiled two 300t, 30m tall horse heads named Kelpies in Scotland, UK.

The Kelpies are part of the new 350ha Helix Park in Falkirk, and are the largest equine sculptures in the world and biggest art installation in the country, claims the company.

The Kelpies were based on mythological water horses that inhabit lochs and rivers in Scottish legend.

The structures form an entrance to the Forth and Clyde canal, which crosses central Scotland.

Atkins started working on the project in 2008 after completing the initial feasibility study for Scottish Canals.

The company worked with commissioned Glaswegian artist Andy Scott on all the project's phases.

According to Atkins, the structures are expected to attract around 350,000 visitors each year. Visitors will follow guided tours, where they can walk inside the sculpture to view the complex internal design.

"Visitors will follow guided tours, where they can walk inside the sculpture to view the complex internal design."

Atkins principal engineer John Bullock said the engineering of the Kelpies was extremely technical and involved a number of challenges.

"For example, the idea that visitors would be allowed inside the horse heads meant that we couldn't engineer normal central support columns to counteract the force of wind that the Kelpies would be exposed to on an open site," Bullock said.

"Because of this we had to place vertical supports at the front and back of the horse heads close to the horse's 'skin' so the visual of the internal structure for visitors wasn't compromised."


Image: The two 300t, 30m tall horse heads, Kelpies, engineered by Atkins. Photo: courtesy of Atkins.