The Longest Bench by Studio Weave

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The Longest Bench by Studio Weave

Designers Studio Weave have installed a meandering 324 metre-long bench on the seafront at Littlehampton in the UK.

The Longest Bench by Studio Weave

Providing seating for 300 people, the bench is made of reclaimed tropical hardwood, salvaged from landfill and old seaside groynes, with colourful stainless steel bars inserted wherever the form twists, bends or dips.

The Longest Bench by Studio Weave

Two bronze shelters enclose more frantic loops in the structure and frame views towards and away from the sea.

The Longest Bench by Studio Weave

The bench is already the longest in the UK and there are plans to extend it to 621 metres.

The Longest Bench by Studio Weave

See also:

East Beach Cafe at Littlehampton by Thomas Heatherwick (June 2007)
West Beach Cafe at Littlehampton by Asif Khan (October 2008)

The Longest Bench by Studio Weave

Here's some more information from Studio Weave:


THE LONGEST BENCH

The longest bench in Britain was opened to the public in Littlehampton, West Sussex on the 30th July 2010.

The bench seats over 300 people along Littlehampton’s promenade, overlooking the town’s award-winning Blue Flag beach. Designed by Studio Weave, the structure sinuously travels along the promenade, meandering around lampposts, bending behind bins, and ducking down into the ground to allow access between the beach and the Green. Like a seaside boardwalk the Longest Bench rests gently on its habitat and adapts to its surroundings while like a charm bracelet it connects and defines the promenade as a whole, underlining it as a collection of special places that can be added to throughout its lifetime.

Accompanying the long bench are two bronze-finished steel monocoque loops that connect the promenade with the green behind it. As the bench arrives inside the twisting loops it goes a little bit haywire, bouncing of the walls and ceiling creating seats and openings. The loop contains the haywire stretch of bench and frames the views each way.

The project was initiated by Littlehampton residents and entrepreneurs Jane Wood and Sophie Murray, the mother and daughter pair responsible for the East and West Beach Cafés. An integral part of Sir Terry Farrell’s Waterfront Strategy for Littlehampton, the Longest Bench joins Jane Wood’s ongoing contributions to the town’s regeneration.

To inspire and develop the project, Studio Weave worked with pupils from Connaught Junior School who explored what makes Littlehampton’s seaside unique and offered insightful ideas including the bright colour pallet and dynamic shelters.

The design allows the landmark bench to keep growing up to at least 621m, seating over 800 and putting Littlehampton in the record books. The first phase was funded through a £450,000 grant from the Sea Change Programme run by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), which aims to help the regeneration of seaside towns.

A generous private donation of £100,000 was also made by Gordon Roddick as a tribute to his late wife Anita. Anita and Gordon started the Body Shop in Littlehampton and the head office is located in the town.

Mr Roddick said “Anita loved Littlehampton and was very keen to do whatever she could to help raise the profile of the town. She was fully supportive of the idea for the bench and would be delighted to see it.”

More than 200 of the timber slats have been engraved with personal messages of dedication by local residents and businesses.

MATERIALS

The bench is made from thousands of tropical hardwood slats. The timber is 100% reclaimed from sources including old seaside groynes and rescued from landfill. Tropical hardwoods are some of the most robust and long lasting timbers in the world and they have a proven track record in marine environments. The bench uses more than a dozen different species arranged to express the natural variation in colour and tone from pale blonds to warm pinks and rich browns.

The beautiful variety of reclaimed timbers are interspersed with splashes of bright colour wherever the bench wiggles, bends or dips. The coloured bars are made from stainless steel box sections dipped in Nylon-11, a polymer enamel. The brightly coloured bars are arranged to create a subtly changing colour scheme from pink, yellow and orange at the east end to purple, blue and green at the west.

The support structure for the bench is made from stainless steel, a 100% recyclable and on average 70% recycled material (Steel Construction Institute).

The two shelters are steel monocoque structures spray coated with Aluminium Bronze which gives them their golden finish. Over time, the bronze shelters will settle into their coastal environment naturally gathering salt streaks and verdigris on the more exposed areas while maintaining a warm golden glow inside.

FUNDING AND SUPPORT

The first phase was funded through a £450,000 grant from the Sea Change Programme run by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), which aims to help the regeneration of seaside towns.

A generous private donation of £100,000 was also made by Gordon Roddick as a tribute to his late wife Anita. Anita and Gordon started the Body Shop in Littlehampton and the head office is located in the town.

The Team:

Client: Arun District Council Project
Initiators: Jane Wood and Sophie Murray
Designers: Studio Weave
Structural Engineers: Adams Kara Taylor
Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors: Jackson Coles
Main Contractors: Millimetre Ltd


See also:

.

Freya’s Cabin by
Studio Weave
East Beach Cafe by
Thomas Heatherwick
West Beach Cafe
by Asif Khan
  • Anita Albert

    powerful and playful idea :)

  • Jorge-Ls

    Original , simple , but not so funtional after all.

  • Simon

    Simple, Elegant, Playful….a delight!

  • http://www.individual.cl/ æon

    It makes me think of a rollercoaster.

  • Clayfeet666

    Littlehampton needs all the help it can get – the epitome of 'faded seaside glamour'.

  • Pusti Lisac

    It makes me wonder how long the longest bench in the world is.

    I hope they keep extending it and go for the world record.

  • bonzo

    The result is beautiful but well..recycled steel, almost all steel these days is made of a large percentage of wastesteel.

  • http://www.arielgalera.com.ar Ariel

    Its Similar to this work. whit the colombian arquitect Felipe Uribe.
    Repocero-Dispositvo para descansar.
    POSGRADO-UTDT-BS AS-Argentina 2009, http://arqytec.blogspot.com/2009/12/produccion-fohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDkNs6juwXA

  • Maryam

    i think the use of recyclable materials like wood and steel is a good idea interms of saving the environment.actually i interested in the source of the idea or the concept, they got their inspiration from pupils in junior school for the bright colour pallet and dynamic shelters.