nicoll russell studios
architects + interior designers

The Kelpies



Opportunities to contribute to truly unique projects are rare; Nicoll Russell Studios were therefore elated to be chosen to deliver the new visitor centre for “The Kelpies”, two 30m high equine sculptures by internationally recognised Scottish Sculptor Andy Scott. The project was secured following an open international competition sponsored by “the Helix project” and managed by RIAS Consultancy.

The Helix park project centres on a connection between the Forth and Clyde Canals and the focal point is marked by Andy Scott’s Sculptures. The park comprises 300 acres of new green space and includes a network of paths, cycle ways, a playpark and a lagoon.

The visitor centre is an environmentally focused building with a green roof to help it blend into the landscape. The main frontage is fully glazed and is orientated towards the sculptures, the other facades are clad in locally sourced Scottish Larch. The building utilizes a limited pallet of material and includes technologies such as an air-source heat-pump in an effort to minimise the carbon footprint of the structure.

The accommodation comprises an exhibition and interpretation space, café and shop facilities, visitor toilets, and a range of facilities for Helix Park staff. The project opened to the public in late 2015 and has proven to be a great success in providing supporting facilities to the iconic sculptures and the broader Helix Park.

Photography : Vincent Hartman, Forbo, Blackmoon Lighting