Guarantee for a Long Life
Here at Benchmark we are passionate about sustainability and always have been. We believe in making furniture with a long life, made from wood that is harvested from sustainably managed forests. Our Wales and Wales range of Street and Park furniture is no exception. We are so confident in our craftsmanship and materials that we are now offering a 5 year guarantee – not something that you often come across in the world of public seating where our Northern European climate puts huge demands on durability.
We were recently taking a look at some past Wales & Wales projects and thought these pictures of our Norfolk Bench were worth sharing as a testament to the longevity of the range
The Norfolk Bench was originally designed at the turn of the millennium for Snape Maltings as part of a programme of additions by Penoyre and Prasad Architects to the world famous concert hall. The 15 metre seat overlooks the convoluted progress of the River Ore draining through marshes to the sea about a kilometre away to the east. The only significant man-made object between it and the coast is Barbara Hepworth’s last and unfinished sculpture, ‘The Family of Man’, which while adding to the drama of the landscape, certainly does not afford any protection from the extreme North Sea climate.
The design brief was careful and constrained. The principal function of the seating was to accommodate concertgoers before, during and after facing the music. More than a degree of comfort was therefore desirable. The seating utilises the maximum available length of the terrace and incorporates linking table arms, not only providing generous surfaces for soothing libations, but a means of support once they have been consumed!
The visual quality of the seat is one of robust refinement – appropriate to the place and its use. Subtly tapered cast aluminium legs support sections of oak as horizontal as the East Anglian landscape. Back slats of hefty section are moulded to form a sophisticated profile and perfect ergonomic support all but unknown in most outdoor furniture.
The site may be frequented by the genteel and well heeled, but it is an open, public space. The seat has now been in service for thirteen years and despite the inevitable depredations of time is still providing as solid, though perhaps more silvery service, as when first delivered. Longevity of design is assured through the quietly considered proportion of detail and the whole, balancing strength, finesse and comfort. Longevity of construction is achieved through rigorous craftsmanship and the choice of first class materials, fixings and finishes.
Since that first installation, the design has been continually developed and is now a comprehensive range of bench seating, including backless benches and wall seats, all with various back and arm configurations which can be seen here.