If someone asks you where you are, most people will answers in relation to local information. ‘In front of Saint Paul’s Cathedral’, ‘On Cannon Street’. But for someone who’s not familiar with this place this information might be insufficient. That’s why you could also answer this question with global information, with a set of coordinates that are in relation with the rest of the world. A lot of times we know what our local position is, but we forget our global position, not just geographically, but also mentally, political, cultural, welfare,…
The bench is a spatial expression of this coordinate system, which we can experience on a physical level. Each of the three planes that form the bench represents a different axis in the Cartesian grid. In this way, the bench not only draws the gaze and thoughts of the viewer physically inwards (where am I?); but also allows the visitor to look and think outwards, into the surroundings (what surrounds me?).
The bench will be engraved with (and named after) the coordinates of where it is placed, confronting us with this certain place in a different way, placing our view in a more global perspective. The bench also has no clear sitting direction, offering the person seated an all round view and encouraging more spontaneous interaction.
51°30’48.6” N 0°05’17.9” W was created by Studio mxmxm.
The LFA City Benches are a series of give temporary benches created by emerging architects and designers for an annual design competition for seating in the Cheapside area, in partnership with Cheapside Business Alliance and the City of London Corporation.