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This Bench Integrates History and Sustainability with Handmade Clay Bricks | Float

FDT Bureau

Designer Akasaki Vanhuyse designed Float, an exceptional bench that seamlessly integrates with the historic landscape of Royal Albert Wharf in London. The site’s industrial and maritime heritage, with scenic waterfront views and a curved quayside adorned with maritime objects, served as inspiration for the bench's design. Know more about it on FURNITURE DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY (FDT).

Made from traditional handmade clay bricks, carefully selected to reflect the architectural context of Royal Docks, the bench pays tribute to the area’s rich history. Its modular and stackable bricks allow for straightforward assembly, deeply rooted in local construction practices.

The making process revolves around pre-cutting each brick to precise angles and dimensions, with 360 bricks crafted into 13 different types before being intricately layered by skilled bricklayers. This approach ensures durability, longevity, and resistance to weather elements without requiring additional fixation to the ground. Embracing a sustainable approach, the designer thoughtfully utilizes repurposed deadstock bricks.

With its familiar rounded geometry and tactile texture, the bench invites people to approach and engage with it. Whether seated or reclining from any direction, the bench offers a unique experience akin to floating on water. It also serves as a meeting spot, fostering connections and interactions as people naturally gather around its spiral brickwork.

Float harmoniously captures the essence of the Royal Albert Wharf, becoming a new landmark of the town and a testament to the designer's artful blending of architecture with its surroundings.

Image credit: Akasaki Vanhuyse




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FDT is a B2B monthly bilingual magazine from India that shares the pulse of the furniture business in India and connects the manufacturers, OEMS, product designers, architects, showrooms, designers and dealers.

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