A statement on the urgency of the climate crisis and a beacon of hope for positive change.
For COP26, BE-ST built one of three sustainable structures that stand throughout Glasgow today, stationed in Central Station and standing as a monument to a better future to the station’s 15+ million annual passengers.
Following a conversation in January 2021, Steuart Padwick, Natalie Alexopoulos and Ramboll set out to join forces and make a statement to the world on climate change as Glasgow hosted COP26 in November of that year.
The project went onto bring together 50 companies, including BE-ST, to leave a mark of inspiration for people visiting and living in Glasgow as we transition to net-zero.
The three installations, located at Glasgow Central Station, Cunningar Loop, and Rottenrow Gardens, were constructed using low carbon, reclaimed, recycled, or sustainable materials, and almost all were locally sourced.
BE-ST manufactured and produced the Beacon of Hope, located at Glasgow Central. This monument is made from contoured layers of FSC Scottish-grown Sitka Spruce, which celebrates Scotland's expanding timber construction industry and the work off the back of the Transforming Timber project and unit showcased first the first time at the COP26 conference.
Another sculpture (The Hope Sculpture) stands in the East End of Glasgow, and is partly made from a 100% cement-free concrete that uses locally sourced aggregates and recycled crushed glass. This reduced the carbon footprint by more than 70% compared to a standard concrete mix.
The third monument is situated on University of Strathclyde’s campus and is composed of three colourful figures, symbolizing the power of coming together. It is made from reclaimed sheet steel also with a low-carbon cement-free concrete foundation.
It started as a conversation and became a gift from 50 companies to Glasgow and South Lanarkshire Steuart Padwick, Artist/Designer
With the support of ECOSystems Technologies, BE-ST associate impact manager Sam Patterson led on the fabrication and manufacturing of the Beacon of Hope structure.
As one of the technicians in the factory, Sam turned the artists 3D model into the required manufacturing files and produced the sculpture on our CNC router from homegrown timber, sourced locally from BSW Group.
ECOSystems Technolgoies fabricated the panels for the structure using their experience in CLT. With the wood laminated, the CNC machine cut and shaped them into over 100 different layers, which then came together to form the figure once assembled.
The full process had been intricate and challenging but the final result is a testament to the team’s work and the potential of homegrown cross-laminated timber.
As well as being a statement on climate change, the beacon also offered words of hope for the people of Glasgow. Local children and Scottish writers wrote messages that are engraved onto structure, and the project team collaborated with Mental Health Foundation Scotland to produce supportive mental health sign posting.
This is one of the most widely and commonly seen bit of work from BE-ST as 15+ million passengers travelled through Glasgow Central Station in the year period of 21-22, and 32.9 million passengers used the station at its peak in 17-18.
The Hope Sculpture project serves as a beacon of hope and positivity towards reaching global environmental milestones and a reminder that we, as a society, care about each other and our planet. The project's team has also developed dedicated activities for school children, highlighting the important role designers, engineers, and constructors play in creating a more sustainable future.