CRL Falkirk were approached to restore and bring some life back to an iconic floating sculpture created by Richard Groom made for the Glasgow Garden Festival of 1988. This is now planned to be re-floated back in the river Clyde in late 2021.

The project was crowdfunded, and Sculpture Placement Group are working with various partners including the artist Richard Groom's family and Glasgow Science Centre. Floating Head miraculously survived all these years, having narrowly escaped destruction, but was still in need of some repair to make it seaworthy. It is made of the hull of a boat. It has a steel and mesh armature covered with a cement render.

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13th September 2021
"The Floating Head” Sculpture, Glasgow
Submitted by Alec Rae

Sculpture Protection Group wanted to retain as many original features as possible above the waterline but wanted below the waterline to be repaired and coated to offer best chance of water tightness and ability to float when the sculpture was put back into the water for the first time since it was removed in the late 1980s.

Akzo Nobel and Kestral Construction Products provided the materials free of charge for this project.

We repaired areas of the hull where the cement render coating covering a thin concrete construction with embedded mesh reinforcement was delaminating, surface prepared using high pressure steam (DOFF) and two coats of Intercrete Cemprotec 851F were applied below the waterline.

Internally we prepared and poured a screed to strengthen the keel due to anticipated loading during re-launch. The bow and stern tow points were also structurally repaired to allow towing by tug up the Clyde to be positioned at the Glasgow Science Centre basin. The cast iron cover was recovered from within the hull and re-set within the ‘forehead’. Only essential repairs were undertaken above the waterline with weathering and moss growth retained as a feature.

We are pleased to have been given the chance to work on this small but high profile project from a marketing and publicity point of view. We also intend to attend the official launch event later this year.