Coming from a Mediterranean townscape, the strings of chimneys stacked on London’s rooftops fascinated us at once: cannon-headed, crown-shaped, square-based, with unique brick decor, in groups of 4, 8, 12; the game of spotting them through the skyline whilst walking inspired the concept of this project.
We wanted to celebrate London by taking one of its most distinctive symbols and put it in a different context. What does a chimney stack remind you of? A roof? The London skyline? Wintertime? Have you ever observed its details?
From the sky to the ground, a typical chimney stack has made its way to Bow Churchyard and dressed up in red to become a bench that invites people to sit, relax or interact with it.
Our idea was to make the chimney reference look as realistic as possible, that’s why we used the authentic construction materials of a typical chimney stack: clay pots and bricks. Chim Chim praises British manufacturing, showcasing four different chimney pot shapes, each one evoking a different style of construction, provided by W T Knowles & Sons, which remains one of the few UK clay pot manufacturers.
Despite looking like a solid block of bricks, the body of the bench is made of structural timber clad in brick slips to facilitate transport, installation, and de-installation, whilst the chimney pots can be used as a backrest.
Chim Chim is part of our research on architectural copy/cliché, elaborating on the idea of context and significance of forms.
Chim Chim was created by PROFFERLO Architecture (Bow Churchyard), and was sponsored by W T Knowles & Sons Chimney Pots and Fix Auto West Hampstead.
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.