Meet the Designers: Pews and Perches (3)


As part of LFA 2022, the LFA unveiled the winning benches for the third edition of Pews and Perches. The series of fives benches aims to improve London’s public realm, celebrate emerging architectural talent, and connect people with the buildings and spaces around them.

We chatted to the designers about the stories behind the designs.

Click on the videos below to hear each of the designers tell us the story behind their bench.

Alternatively, you can download the Pews and Perches self-guided walking tour by heading to our Building Sounds podcast feed via Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or by searching for ‘Building Sounds’ wherever you normally get your podcasts.

A Cautionary Bench/Mark by Andre Kong Studio

A Cautionary Bench/Mark is built from reclaimed materials and is set on two levels. The lower bench invites passers-by to sit and reflect on the individual and collective actions that will lead to the higher level looming 2.6m above - the water level expected during a severe tidal storm in 2030.
The red gradient of the bench, reminiscent of a change in colour caused by cumulative water level marks and highlighting the increasing risk, reinforces the urgency to act on the climate crisis now or never.

What a Water Waste by Leroy Yuen and Gemma Louisa Holdaway

What-A-Water Waste is a public bench made out of community HPDE plastic waste, and stands as a socio-cultural sculptural piece that aims to represent how we can come together to act against the climate emergency. Collected from the Royal Docks and the surrounding local area, the plastic waste is transformed into unique plastic sheets that read as a map of waste traces, rightly indicating the act of coming together across communities to find new circular ways of designing.

Sail-phone by Lo²

Aspiring to capture the vibrancy and rich history of the Royal Docks, the shape of Sail-Phone is an abstract take on the Lightship 'LV95' of Trinity Buoy Wharf with its iconic bright red paint. With its multifunctional use as a bench and with an interactive speaking tube, reminiscent of those used to communicate on ships, Sail-Phone's captivating appearance and multi-functional use aims to bring everyone together, engaging in playfulness and to have fun outdoors.

Turning Tide by Mvuu and Amir Zinaburg

Turning Tide aims to symbolize the forever fluctuating effect that actions cause, with the structure 'shifting' from one state to another. Stones scribed with community messages of climate change anchor down the bench, signifying that action will never be without effect.

GAM by Fiona Hartley and James Parkes

GAM is a modular bench that takes cues from nearby manmade infrastructure. The installation transforms typically overlooked objects of industrial architecture to create approachable objects for interaction. GAM references, replicates and reuses the industrial and weathered materiality of its location through a layered papercrete construction formed from waste paper collected from surrounding locations.




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