Future of Design Bench

Location: London
Year completed: 2017
Client: Clerkenwell Design Week/Media 10
Architect: Scale Rule
Wider team: Hanson Plywood

Tasked with creating a new seating area for St James’s church gardens, Clerkenwell, the winning design for the Future of Design 2016 workshops was for a continuous, free flowing bench. Curved on plan, the bench provided 2 distinct areas of seating. The first, a single tier provided a space for individuals to sit quietly by themselves, the convex curvature in plan meant each person was able to face out into their own space. The second area was very different, two tiers of seating were created and the bench wrapped in and around on itself, creating a highly social, amphitheatre style space.

To achieve the fluid form whilst allowing for easy construction the bench was subdivided into segments. Each segment was given a unique reference which was CNC routed into the face to ensure the build team knew where each piece went. Assembly was carried out sequentially starting one end and finishing the other. Connections between the angled slats were made as simple overlapping connections with a bolt through the tab, creating continuity to the structure which helped to stiffen the bench.