Street furniture should be an integral part of any architectural design – now and in the future
Street furniture is often a key focal point in any urban, commercial or public amenity space. And yet it is often left as one of the last parts of the architectural design and procurement jigsaw.
From seating to cycle racks, planters to demarcation, street furniture plays an important part in most of our day-to-day lives.
“It’s about bringing spaces to life while having a practical use,” said Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Landmark Street Furniture. “When we look around while walking, cycling or driving through a town centre, business or retail park, or even walking through a residential area, there will be some form of street furniture.
“Seating is a good example. The design and placement can make all the difference. A seat is there for people to use, but it can also be designed and integrated into a development as a focal or even a control point.
“For example, in a large open space the movement of people, or the control of them, can be haphazard. By carefully placing innovatively designed seating, you can guide and space their movement. Integrated with other furniture and demarcation, such as with floor studs, you can create a guided movement without the pedestrian even realising it.”
Designs can include cast stone seating, recycled plastic seating, steel and timber seating. Each can not only be practical as a seat, but aesthetically pleasing within a built or open environment.
Creating the right architectural enviornment
“It’s about creating the right environment. The street furniture is not just a practical object, it’s part of the overall building design, it can almost be artwork that helps provide a practical solution as well as a visual one,” added Robert.
He said that the current coronavirus situation highlighted the importance of such furniture in future architectural designs, as well the ability to retrofit into existing street and built environments.
“In the current situation social distancing is highly important. Many businesses and local councils have implemented temporary measures, such as barriers, floor signs and coned areas.
“But we anticipate such demarcation and distancing could become a more long-term need and so it’s important to consider architectural solutions to this and street furniture can be a perfect answer in the short and long term,” said Robert.
“Many towns and cities have established temporary pedestrianised roads to allow for social distancing. Pop-up cycle lanes have also been established to deal with the growth in cycling during the pandemic based on exercise and the advice not to use public transport.
More permanent solutions
“Local and town councils will no doubt have to look at if and how they need to consider more permanent solutions.
“This would mean integrating secure bicycle storage solutions, shelters for pedestrians and access control solutions in public areas.”
He added: “And it’s not only in public realms where this will need to happen. Retail and business parks, private developments, residential areas and others will need similar solutions now and in the future.”
Landmark Street Furniture, which is based at Caersws in Powys, Mid Wales, has worked with architects, property developers, private landlords, local authorities, rail and transport companies, university and educational establishments and others in providing such solutions.
Access control to deterring anti-social behaviour
“When you look at how important street furniture is in everything from amenities to access control, safety and even deterring anti-social behaviour, it becomes apparent how it must be part of any architectural design,” said Robert.
“We’re already talking to developers in London who want to consider methods for cycle storage and social distancing in existing developments as a result of the current situation.”
More details about Landmark Street Furniture’s bespoke design and installation services can be found at www.landmarkstreetfurniture.com.
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