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Kelpies Canal Hub, Falkirk Design & Delivery

Falkirk Council / Scottish Canals / CSFT

Project Description

The Helix Canal Hub has established a new visitor destination for Central Scotland associated with the re-connection of the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Forth to enhance navigation. Providing a setting for and access to the Kelpies, the Hub layout establishes a rich and welcoming quality public realm, safe canal access and a flexible outdoor events venue, grounding the Kelpies, Andy Scott's 30m equine giants, within the wider landscape setting. Positioned north of Central Park and connected through green network links to the wider area, all approach routes are carefully aligned and sited to orchestrate views, enhance approaches to, and visual experience of, the landmark sculptures.

The Kelpies are references to both mythical figures and the Clydesdale horses that historically pulled boats along the Forth and Clyde Canal from coast to coast.

This historic and place association is a theme reflected in the landscape and public realm treatments.

  • Utilitarian/'industrial' retaining gabion walls used to provide seating
  • Granite surfacing to canal edges, Kelpie plaza and surrounds
  • Native Wildflower and perennial planting, birch and Scots pine stand referencing the pre-industrial Scottish landscape
  • Carving of Jim Carruth's poem to the Kelpie Sculptures within public realm elements

Ironside Farrar's landscape architects led the masterplanning and design process, working collaboratively with civil engineers and the public artist (Andy Scott) to create a truly unique quality public space. The opening weekend event 'Home' in April 2014 welcomed 22,000 visitors to the Hub and marked completion of the final phase of The Helix Greenspace project.

For more information please contact: Janet Pope click here to email Janet

or click here to go back to Public Realm Design


the Helix Park, Kelpies Canal Hub Plaza
the Helix Park, the Kelpies Canal Hub Plaza
the Helix. the Kelpies Canal Hub Plan View. Image courtesy of Alan Corrie
the Helix. the Kelpies Canal Hub Landscape. Image courtesy of Alan Corrie
the Helix. the Kelpies Canal Hub. Inlaid text.
the Helix. the Kelpies Canal Hub. Viewing Area.
the Helix. the Kelpies Plaza
the Helix. the Kelpies Canal Hub sketch
the Kelpie Canal Hub Plan