Local Collective has designed a seating made of clay for the London Festival of Architecture and Network Rail. Unveiled at London Bridge Station, the urban furniture is a result of a “competition organized by the LFA and Network Rail to create public installations that celebrate London’s shared spaces and connect people with playful encounters”.
Local Collective, a London-based art and architecture studio focusing on sustainable ways of design and living, is also a lab that experiments with the extraction and use of local clay deposits as construction materials. For the London Bridge Station, the firm designed a seating made from a natural material found beneath the inhabitants’ feet, London clay.
Generating social furniture that is breathable and sustainable, the modular bench system offers different configurations for different social needs. In addition, the use of clay improves indoor air quality by absorbing humidity and toxins. Finished with Rammed Earth in a distinctive and naturally colorful depiction of the ancient building technique, the bench also takes on clay plaster finishes. Hoping to bring warmth, joy, and texture, in a sustainable way, to London’s public spaces, Lisa Chan of Local Collective explains that the “seating not only provides a place to sit but a moment to pause in the frenetic inner city of London and to feel the tactility and rawness of earth.”
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In response to climate change, Sitting on London’s Clay encourages a re-think about centuries-old construction techniques and materials. The context of clay is particularly suiting to London’s railway stations as the Crossrail development excavated 6 million tons of earth - it is time perhaps to re-appropriate construction waste. -- Lisa Chan of Local Collective