In their approach to creating a collection of public seating for the Greenwich Peninsula district in Southeast London, England, the London-based design studio Raw Edges looked at the behaviour of people in public spots in cities – particularly the way in which city dwellers often gather around and sit on makeshift seating, such as walls, pavements and steps. Their observations led them to develop a collection of what they describe as “scaled-up” armchairs.
The designers explain: “In the city we can find relaxing spots that were not meant to become seats – like stairs, pavement edges and low brick walls. We looked into this behaviour; this hunter’s eye that looks for the ideal resting position, like a student during a lunch break or a bunch of friends sitting on the pavement, and came up with this small urban landscape that is made from a cluster of concrete units. We created scaled-up armchair-like seats that form an urban texture that invites people to step on, climb and relax.”
The Raw Edges team designed the chairs in three heights - small, medium and tall - which provide passers-by with the option of laying or sitting in the chairs. When arranged together, the chairs evoke the sitting patterns of people resting on makeshift seating, such as walls and steps.
The chairs are part of the Greenwich development scheme, an £8.4 billion regeneration project for the Greenwich Peninsula district.The district’s new vibrant design is set to transform the area into a thriving modern and vibrant neighbourhood that will encompass shops, hotels, schools and public facilities. The chairs are located outside the multipurpose indoor arena, the O2 Arena, and will remain in place for the next 10 years.
This is Raw Edges’first venture into long-term outdoor fixtures. Their other designs include wooden furniture with rainbow-hued zigzag patterns and floral rugs.