The Falkirk Wheel
Turning the Wheel in Falkirk
In 2002 an ambitious project was completed to connect the historic Forth & Clyde and Union Canals.
The Falkirk Wheel - or as it was previously known, the Millennium Link project - was an innovative design that would join together the two canals at Falkirk following the dismantling of 11 locks that stepped down over a distance of 1.5km back in 1933.
The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s first and only rotating boat lift and has become a ‘must visit’ icon in Scotland. The visitor centre situated next to the Wheel is open all year round. Entry to the centre is completely free and it is full of fascinating information about the waterways and the development of the Wheel.
Designed to complement the Wheel and allow visitors a prime view of it in action, the visitor centre is glazed on one side, while timber cladding dominates the other side. This helps create an aesthetic balance to the large metal wheel by introducing a natural construction material.
International Timber supplied the cladding for the centre. Because of its exposed location they suggested using Western Red Cedar due to its Class 2 durability and resistance to decay and insect attack. It is also low maintenance with a life span of up to 60 years when untreated and weathers down to a silver grey over time, making it the perfect timber to enhance the grey steel of the Wheel.