Casestudies The Kelpies

The Kelpies

Client partners: Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals
Client delivery and management team: 
The Helix Trust
Concept artist and sculptor:
Andy Scott, Scott Sculptures
Consultant engineers:
Principal contractor:
SH Structures Ltd
Celsius® 355 Circular Structural Hollow Section

The Kelpies are two monumental steel sculptures of horses’ heads. Visually stunning and standing up to 30 metres high, they represent a truly remarkable feat of engineering.

The challenge

The sheer scale of these sculptures meant that The Kelpies had to be expertly designed and developed and specialist consultant engineers were appointed to translate the artistic vision into a working design that could be used as the basis for procurement and construction.

For its strength and versatility more than 300 tonnes of Tata Steel’s Celsius 355 hot-finished Structural Hollow Section was provided to create the complex frames that form the dramatic internal structure and were crucial factors in bringing The Kelpies ‘to life’.

The solution

An entirely tubular solution for the internal structure was proposed rather than a hybrid of tubes and flat diaphragms. Celsius 355 Circular Hollow Section was chosen for both the primary and secondary structures. Hollow section is extremely versatile and would prove cost-effective whilst allowing the creation of the necessary contours for the outer skin of the horses’ heads.

More than 27,000 individual pieces were used to create the primary structures of The Kelpies and it took just 90 days to install the two giant sculptures.


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