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The Kelpies

The Kelpies are the main attraction of the Helix Park in Falkirk. The metal sculptures, weighing 300 tonnes and standing about 30 metres high, reproduce the heads of two horses. Designed by the sculptor Andy Scott they are a homage to the horse, an animal which played a fundamental role in the work carried out along Britain’s canals, such as pulling barges. The name originates from the mythical creatures that, according to ancient Scottish legends, live in lakes and canals and can take the form of a horse.

Lightfolio was commissioned to design the lighting project for the sculptures and the surrounding area, to ensure the safety of the staggering number of visitors and also of the people that work for Helix Park. The project consists of lighting the Kelpies internally and externally, a solution which was designed on 3-metre-high reproductions of the sculptures, in close contact with Andy Scott, who had a clear idea of how his horses should appear at night.    

LED RGB fittings, that produce changes in colour, were placed inside the sculptures. Maxiwoody projectors, with a unique installation solution designed by Lightfolio, were installed around the sculptures to obtain a more architectural effect: highlighting certain areas and emphasizing the expressions that Andy Scott gave the animals. The projectors were installed inside recessed housings with a glass cover flush with the flooring, in order not to obstruct the view of the horses.

The surrounding areas were lit with iWay bollards for pedestrian routes. Their ability to prevent light pollution, due to the optimal screening of the light source, and excellent control of the light distribution, made them the perfect choice for the job. Maxiwoody RGB projectors, installed on poles, contribute to creating the dramatic atmosphere around the sculptures, in some cases synchronising the coloured emission with the colour changes taking place inside the Kelpies.    

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  • Year
  • Client
    Falkirk District Council
  • Lighting project:
  • Structural engineering:
    M&E Consultants Ian Campbell Partnership
  • Artist: Andy Scott
  • Photographer