One of the most striking structural artworks in the UK is the latest eye-catching landmark to feature coatings supplied by AkzoNobel. Standing 30 meters (100 feet) high, The Kelpies – located near Falkirk in Scotland – tower over the surrounding landscape and form the centerpiece of a new visitor experience at The Helix parkland project.
Designed by Glaswegian sculptor Andy Scott, the structural steel of the two horse head sculptures (which weigh 300 tons each) is protected by a coatings system supplied by the company's Protective Coatings business.
"The Kelpies are somewhat different from the type of high value infrastructure projects we normally get involved with, but we are delighted to be involved with such an impressive installation," said Andrew Mechie, Regional General Manager for Benelux, UK and Ireland at AkzoNobel's Protective Coatings business.
Added Ian Baldry, UK Business Development for AkzoNobel's Protective Coatings business: "Even though they are an art installation, their sheer size, weight and the resulting complexity meant that the build was treated more like that of a bridge or building than a work of art. So we knew a coating was required that had good abrasion resistance and excellent aesthetic qualities."
Interfine 979, from the company's International® range, was applied to the steel prior to construction, with the various pieces requiring 100 deliveries to transport everything to the site for final assembly.
Having initially started off as a drawing on his Dutch girlfriend's kitchen table in Amsterdam, The Kelpies are one of the UK's tallest pieces of public art.
Inspired by the working horses of the past and named after Scotland's mythical water horses said to be in Scottish lochs and rivers, part of the visitor experience includes a guided tour which takes people inside one of the heads, where they can clearly see the complex internal steelwork featuring AkzoNobel's protective coatings.
Other famous UK landmarks to feature AkzoNobel coatings include the London Eye, Wimbledon's Centre Court roof, the Shard, Gateshead's Millennium Bridge and Wembley Stadium.