Starting January 12, 2015, a £1.45m visitor’s centre at Falkirk’s Helix Park will begin construction near the park’s famous Kelpies, reports BBC News.
The visitor’s centre was designed by Dundee architects Nicol Russel Studios following an international design competition, and will include many new additions, such as a restaurant, shopping area, visitor information and facilities, and an audio-visual experience.
The iconic sculptures are a high priority in the design of the new centre, and visitors’ views of the Kelpies will be preserved and uninterrupted. The new centre is designed to blend into the landscape around it using grass mounds and landscaped roof panes.
Park officials have estimated that 800,000 people have visited the site since the Kelpies opened in April – not including the traveling, 1:10 scale Kelpies Maquettes, which visited New York City’s Bryant Park last spring.
It is expected that the new centre should open in late summer 2015, according to culture, leisure and tourism spokesman Adrian Mahoney.
In celebration of the 2014 Ryder Cup, from September 26-28, hundreds of thousands of golf fans from across the world will be greeted by the three-metre high touring models of Scotland’s celebrated public art sculptures, The Kelpies.
VisitScotland has placed The Kelpies Maquettes at the heart of the Gleneagles tented village, which is the main public zone for the 250,000 spectators expected to attend The 2014 Ryder Cup over the course of the week.
As one of the most inspiring and awesome sculptures to be built in Europe, The Kelpies Maquettes have been touring the world acting as cultural ambassadors for Scotland and promoting the Falkirk area as one of Scotland’s major tourist destinations. In 2012, they appeared at Medinah during the tournament, and earlier this year, the Maquettes were sited in Bryant Park, New York, as a focal point for Scotland Week.
Falkirk Council’s tourism spokesperson, Councillor Adrian Mahoney said: “The Kelpies have become an iconic landmark and major tourist attraction for Scotland with the Maquettes acting as cultural ambassadors to promote the Falkirk area and the nation as a whole.”
The Kelpies Maquettes in Bryant Park last spring
For more information about The Kelpies, both the permanent and traveling exhibits, visit http://www.thekelpies.co.uk/