November 7, 2021

Gift of Hope: low-carbon sculpture's legacy to Glasgow and COP26

Ramboll, Steuart Padwick, Aggregate Industries, Urban Union, Keltbray and 50 other organisations launch their COP26 legacy gift to Glasgow: The Hope Sculpture Project, a showcase for a sustainable future with 75% lower carbon impact.

‘It began as a conversation with Ramboll and became a legacy gift from 50 companies to Glasgow.’ Steuart Padwick – Artist/Designer
Principle build partners, Ramboll, Aggregate Industries, Urban Union and Keltbray launch the Hope Sculpture, a showcase of how the construction industry can respond to build better and more sustainably as we transition to a net zero future.
What is the Hope Sculpture?
At 20m high, the monumental Hope Sculpture represents a beacon of hope and positivity towards reaching global environmental milestones, located in Clyde Gateway’s beautiful woodland park at Cuningar Loop. Its long, elegant columns take their form from the brick chimney stalks that once littered the East End of Glasgow.
It is the centre piece of three public art installations by Steuart Padwick located across Glasgow, with each sculpture constructed using low carbon, reclaimed, recycled or sustainable materials, of which, almost all have been locally sourced. It is a showcase of how industry, organisations and people are committed to build more sustainably, as we transition to a net zero future.
Net zero focus
Unlike its predecessors, this deconstructed chimney stalk is made from an innovative new low carbon 100% cement free concrete incorporating locally sourced aggregates. On top of the columns is an age, gender, race neutral child, embracing the surrounding nature and is reaching out to a greener, hopeful future.
It too is constructed using 100% cement free concrete and recycled crushed glass. Hidden from view, but significant also to the carbon impact of the build are re-claimed steel gas pipes used for the piling and recycled rebar, all contributing to the Hope Sculpture’s huge 75% lower carbon impact.
Alan Dowdall, Buildings Director at Ramboll said “The carbon savings on this project are huge and it demonstrates what can be achieved when you approach projects with a lean construction mindset, you are sensible with materials and can hone the design early on.”
Two further sculptures include the ‘Beacon of Hope’ at Glasgow Central Station and the Hope Triptych located at Strathclyde university, both feature the Child of Hope.
Made from contoured layers of FSC Scottish-grown Sitka Spruce, the Beacon of Hope celebrates the expanding timber construction industry that Scotland is developing, whilst the Hope Triptych is a playful adaptation of the Child of Hope, composed of three colourful figures, symbolising the power of coming together and made from reclaimed sheet steel with a low carbon cement-free concrete foundation.
Mental well-being
Linking our built environment with improved mental well-being, Padwick has worked with Mental Health Foundation on all messaging.
Words of Hope have been written by some of Scotland’s favourite voices, writers, and poets as well as local school children. These words have been inscribed directly onto all the sculptures.
Each sculpture has mental health signposting close by to offer a range of support. Climate change is a global emergency and one in which we all have a role to play. To inspire action and share messages of hope across the world, Padwick teamed up with Glaswegian BAFTA winner, Hannah Currie, and All3Media’s Bullion Productions to produce a thought-provoking film titled ‘A Conversation of Hope.’ Rooted in Glasgow, but with a universal message.
Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26 said, “The monumental Hope sculpture is a powerful and much needed symbol of hope. It is a timely reminder that by taking better care of our environment we take better care of our own and our communities mental well-being.”
What our project partners say about Hope
“We all need to address this new global agenda so our young can embrace a future of hope. It is very simple, why would anyone want to poison their future?” Steuart Padwick
Natalie Alexopoulos, Hope Project Director said: “The most remarkable thing about this project has been collaborating with these companies and individuals. Their integrity, drive and commitment to make a difference has been inspiring.”
Neil McKay, Managing Director of Urban Union, adds: “The construction industry has an incredibly important role to play in helping to reduce the world’s carbon emissions. By using sustainable and reclaimed materials, this sculpture will serve as a striking reminder of our climate change ambitions while also providing a legacy from COP26 which can be enjoyed by the local community for decades to come.”
Dragan Maksimovic, CEO of Aggregate Industries, member of Holcim said: “We are proud to be supporting such an iconic project with a bespoke cement free product developed by the Aggregate Industries’ technical experts in close partnership with the project team. This high strength product is part of ECOPact Max green concrete range, reducing the carbon footprint by more than 70% compared to a standard concrete mix. If we can achieve that on a singular project, just imagine what we can do if we use these sustainable solutions at a large scale, redesigning neighbourhoods and cities.”
The project, supported by Glasgow City Council is part of the official COP26 legacy and will form an important part of making a difference beyond COP.
Paul Deacy Managing Director, Demolition & Civil Engineering at Keltbray: “Keltbray is honoured to be a part of The Hope Sculpture project. The sculpture is a powerful symbol and it means a lot to us to be able to help deliver such an important beacon of hope. Our values are very much aligned with the project, as sustainability and wellbeing are embedded in everything we do as a business. We have very much enjoyed collaborating with the other businesses involved to bring this meaningful sculpture to the people of Glasgow.”
Children's activity pack
The team has also developed dedicated activities for school children, giving an insight to the wide-ranging exciting career opportunities in the construction sector. The games, tasks and discussion topics highlight the significant role designers, engineers, constructors, and scientists all play in creating a more sustainable future.
In Glasgow?
Download the walking and cycling trail developed by Ramboll's cities & regeneration team and explore the sculptures.
Engage with the Hope Sculpture - wherever you are
On Instagram and Facebook stories, search the filter 'Hope Posts' to make a virtual Hope Sculpture appear in the view in front of you. Users can also express their message and mood using a colour filter, with the colours provided by Mental Health Foundation. Try it now:
For further updates, follow the Hope Sculpture social media accounts: