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Design: Lovely outdoors (1)

(August 2010) Architect and designer Guillaume Bardet (Mail) designed an unusual seat for the Place Pasteur in the French city of Besançon. Not only are they more sculpture than bench, the workmanship required in producing them was more in keeping with a work of art: each bench required the CNC to cut the originally 2.40 x 1.20 x 0.60 cm block for more than two days running as was reported in the trade journal Pierre Actual 5/2009 (available for 12 €).

The work was carried out by 3D Pierre Company. Surface finishing was done by hand and the stone chosen was Belgian limestone Pierre Bleue.

„Pezzi al Forte“ („Strong Pieces”) is the birthname of some unusual design ideas initiated by the Italian Association of Industrial Designers (ADI) and the province of Savona.

The idea behind „Vague“ („Vague“) is simple: narrow elements threaded together result in a bench including a backrest. The salient point is that the bench can be as long as desired and adapt to uneven underground resulting in a meandering installation.

The idea originated from Italian designer of Pierandrei Associati using elements of granite Luz de Compostela and was realized by the Italian Stonehenge Company.

Also part of „Pezzi al Forte“ is Silvia Dagna and Serana Galassi’s (Mail)  „Wafer“ („Waffle“) where the implemented material clearly stands at the centre of the work. Nomen est omen: the bench is comprised of 5 marble slabs each 2 cm thick. Characteristically coloured marble types were chosen.

An accent was set by fastening the side panels individually. „Wafer“ is available with or without backrest and depending on desired colour, in different stone types, albeit more suitable for private use than for open public spaces.

The bench was produced by the Italian based Bundles Company.

Equally suitable for private use is „Grass Bench“ part and parcel of nature and conceived by the young French designer Philippe Niglo: in reality the bench is more of an elevated flower bed with seating along the edges. Depending on what is planted, one sits at the edge of a mini field or strawberry patch or one’s own private marihuana plantation.

Our photo shows „Grass Bench“ measuring 400 x 70 x 40 cm. Other sizes are available as are a variety of stone types.

The work is produced by Italian based Piba Marmi Company, which also produces the bench „Nagoya“, designed by Hikaru Mori comprised of 40 x 40 cm cubes of massive stone. The surface is formed as a seat and each one weighs 42 kg.

The benches dubbed „Encuentros“ („Encounters“) by designer Estudio Cabaña of Buenos Aires resemble mushrooms. The modular concept allows pieces to be assembled to groups. Argentinean granite Red Sierra Chica and Santa Fee Brown were implemented whereby the seat surface is individually worked.

The pieces are manufactured and sold by Argentinean based De Stefano Company and Ragomar.

The Estudio Cabeza website also shows benches made of Argentinean Porphyry.

„Bank Dessau“ („Dessau Bench“) is an elegant understatement by the German Traco Company and designed by Hamburg based Max Wehberg studio. The city furniture named after the German city of Dessau is 3 m long and has a seating surface of wood with or without a backrest as desired. It is usually produced in limestone or Seeberg sandstone but can be ordered in a variety of sizes and stone types.

Max Wehberg

Traco

Another idea: In the Spanish city of Figueres, the designer Sebastian Campion placed seats in form of the computer-cursor. The target was to initiate more personal communication.