Superbenches is an installation of public furniture in the Stockholm suburb of Järfälla that considers the different ways that a public space can accommodate the citizen.
In this case, the space is Kvarnbacken Park, a site that will soon be developed with new housing units. Kalejdohill, an urban development program, was commissioned to give life to the area so that local residents could inhabit the park before buildings do.
For the project, Pin-Up magazine creator Felix Burrichter invited ten designers from around the world to push the concept of what public furniture can be and reimagine the bench around the idea of folly, as an “architectural intervention” rather than a mere place to sit.
What the designers had in common was that they had never designed public furniture before. The resulting pieces are as diverse as the community that will be enjoying them and include a metal bench on oversized springs by London-based Soft Baroque, an upright concrete structure resembling a Brutalist gazebo by Philippe Malouin, and a cluster of blocks made from gravel and clay by Chinese designer Naihan Li.
Other designers include Scholten and Baijings, Max Lamb, Märta Hägglund and Sanna Gripner, Luca Cipelletti, Leon Ransmeier, Jonathan Olivares, and Ifeanyi Oganwu.
Superbenches was created to encourage community involvement, facilitate dialogue between developers and citizens, and help shape the planning process for future housing development and urban landscaping in the growing working class municipality. Most importantly, locals will have the opportunity to select their favorite bench, which will be given a permanent home at the park.
“Design these days is so often associated with the luxury market as something collectible and only available to very few people,” Burrichter says in the video (below).
“The reason for everyone’s excitement about this project is the possibility to share design ideas with a demographic and a public that would otherwise not be exposed to this. What I hope these benches contribute to the community is both place of pleasure and conviviality and a sense of pride.”