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Competition: City Benches 2019

Maria Gasparian's bench in Bow church yard
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The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is repeating last year’s design contest for a series of £800 public benches in the City of London

The City Benches competition – now in its second year – invites students, emerging architects and designers to draw up proposals for a series of one-off benches which enhance the public realm and visitor experience within the historic Cheapside district.

The project, supported by the Cheapside Business Alliance, will deliver a series of ‘safe, durable and low-cost’ benches across the area, suitable for up to two adults, in time for this year’s festival in June.

LFA director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘I’m delighted that our City Benches project is returning to Cheapside – an area of the City that is full of iconic buildings and open spaces.

‘As the LFA explores ‘boundaries’ in 2019, City Benches will hopefully get people thinking – for instance about boundaries between personal space and the public realm – as well as showcasing emerging architecture and design talent to a huge public audience.’

Cheapside Business Alliance chair Anne O’Neill said: ‘Cheapside is evolving into a leading London destination for business and leisure, and we are delighted to be working with the London Festival of Architecture to showcase this fantastic part of the Square Mile.

‘The City Benches competition is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase Cheapside, to support emerging talent, and to encourage people to linger and enjoy a fascinating area within the City of London.’

The City of London is the capital’s historic financial centre and home to many of its tallest and most iconic buildings. The area, which hosts hundreds of pocket parks and art installations, was a key focus of last year’s LFA.

The latest call for entries comes a year after the LFA hosted a similar contest focussing on the City’s Eastern Cluster. Winners included Maria Gasparian Studio which created a colourful installation (pictured) in Bow Church Yard.

Maria Gasparian said: ‘Taking part in the City Benches competition gave me an amazing opportunity to create a piece of street furniture in central London which was visited by thousands of people during the London Festival of Architecture. The LFA was incredibly supportive, and this experience contributed greatly to the development of my professional practice.’

Applications for the latest City Benches contest should include a team photo and brief biographies of team members along with a 200-word practice description and a hand or computer-drawn 3D visualisation.

Judges include Thomson, O’Neill and Eric Parry Architects associate director Tanya Parkin. The deadline for applications is midday, 21 February.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: rosa@londonfestivalofarchitecture.org

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