- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 May 2020
Kelpies are mythological shape-shifting spirits possessing the strength and endurance of 100 horses and inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland, where they usually appear as horses, but can adopt human form.
The Kelpies represent the transformational and sustainable qualities of The Helix and recognise the historical reliance industry had on horses; pulling wagons, ploughs, barges and coal ships and helping transform the economy.
Scott said, "I see The Kelpies as a personification of local and national equine history, of the lost industries of Scotland. I also envisage them as a symbol of modern Scotland - proud and majestic, of the people and the land... They stand testament to the achievements of the past, a tribute to artisanship and engineering and a proud declaration of intent for the future of Scotland."
The Kelpies weigh 300 tonnes each and sit on 1,200 tonnes of steel-reinforced concrete foundations. They were built in just 90 days and were 'topped out' on 27 November 2013. They opened to the public on 21 April 2014 and were visited by nearly a million people in their first year.
A 30-minute guided walking tour takes visitors through Scott’s vision and explains the relationship of The Kelpies with history and industry. The tour culminates with access to the inside of a Kelpie to see the engineering supporting the structure.
Find out more
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Revised guide to competition rules available.
Brick slip soffit systems and intricate brick features.
An innovative engineering approach could have had tragic consequence for NYC.
Some secrets behind how canals work.
Breaking down possible steps of pre-contract management.
ICE event includes comments from Welsh Government Minister Julie James.
How to write them and what they should include.
Designing Buildings Wiki becomes the world's first website to adopt the new knowledge standard.
Assessing the most beneficial design elements.
Exploring different types of vinyl flooring.
New Government task force will build beauty into reformed planning process.
Five outstanding aspects of the profession.