Site Furniture with Flair, Part 2

As a continuation of my original post on this subject, here are some unique outdoor seats that I’ve come across (both on location and online). It’s always a pleasure to see furnishings in the landscape that are custom-designed and out of the ordinary.

seat 1
Curvilinear series of stone/metal seats and bollards at the Federal Reserve Plaza in Boston – These also appear to serve as a security measure, keeping vehicles away from the building.

seat 2
Temporary installation in Boston (2013) – part of a series of art benches along the Fort Point Channel

seat 3
Wooden seat wall with attractive pattern in downtown Boston

seat 4
Tile seating in Rio de Los Angeles State Park, California. Photo credit: Laurie Avocado

seat 5
Double-sided bench designed by architect Zaha Hadid, located in the Dallas Museum of Art’s sculpture garden. Photo credit: Alfred Essa

seat 6
“Tourist Trap” – temporary seat in Belfast, Maine, 2014

seat 7
“The Greeter” – temporary seating in Belfast, Maine, 2014

seat 8
“Stumped” – temporary seating in Belfast, Maine, 2014
 
All photos not credited otherwise were taken by Alice Webb.
Photos by others were obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Public Art in Outdoor Spaces, Part II

I’ve encountered a variety of interesting art pieces in landscape settings ranging from urban to natural. Some are in parks and nature preserves, others are along city streets and alleys, and a few are in small town centers. Some integrate visually and thematically with their surroundings, and others stand alone. Below are a few favorites.

1 - Art on the High Line 1
Cut-outs in a small panel (viewed through a scope) on New York City’s High Line transform this view of buildings into abstract shapes.

2 - Art on the High Line 2
More art on the High Line: A modernistic wire structure with houses and seed/fruit trays for birds and insects seems to represent the intersection of city and nature, as does much of the High Line. A similar structure faces the opposite direction on the other side of the walkway.

3 - Garden in the Woods
These transparent facial profiles at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, appear to symbolize the connection between people and nature.

4 - MSU art museum
Juxtaposition of “natural” and built forms – Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing

5 - Felice Varini - New Haven
Painted optical illusion in New Haven, Connecticut, by Felice Varini – this shape is only visible when one stands at a specific point. As one progresses further down the alley, it no longer appears as four circles within a square.

6 - Cambridge granite sculpture
Sculpture composed of various types of stone in Cambridge, Massachusetts

7 - Sculpture in Eastport ME
Granite sculpture in Eastport, Maine – a town whose principal industry is commercial fishing

8 - CityGarden bas-relief
Bas-relief piece in CityGarden – a sculpture park in St. Louis, Missouri

9 - Sculpture in Montreal
A deep discussion taking place in Montreal, Quebec

10 - Belfast ME bench
Colorful bench in Belfast, Maine

11 - SLCH healing garden
Whimsical piece in the Olson Family Garden at St. Louis Children’s Hospital

See also Public Art in Outdoor Spaces (Part 1)

Photos by Alice Webb

Site Furniture with Flair

Outdoor benches need not be ordinary – I’m often searching for one-of-a-kind seats, which seem to be a rarity among a profusion of manufactured site furnishings. Below are a few examples of unique seating opportunities that I’ve encountered on my treks through parks, gardens, and along urban streets.


“Talk tube” benches flank the entrance to Marla Dorrel Park, Cary, NC. These were created by an artist.


One of many “peel-up” benches on the High Line in New York City


A protruding slab of stone in this wall serves nicely as a bench. It’s located at Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA.


Here is a series of curved benches at West Podium Park in Boston. Note that the width of each bench narrows from one end to the other.


Artist-created fish bench in Eastport Park, Boston


Clever melding of bench with building at South Boston Maritime Park

The following photos are of semi-permanent benches and chairs in downtown Belfast, Maine. Each was designed and built by an artist or craftsperson as part of the town’s “Please be Seated” project. They are bolted to the pavement and kept in place for part of one year (June through October). These are some of the 2012 installations.


“Isn’t it Grand” bench


“Birch Perch” bench


“Buoy-oh-Buoy” bench


“Elemental Earth” bench


“Adirondack Red Magnum” chair (made from slats of a wine barrel)


“Catch a Wave” bench


“The Nest” seat

Photos by Alice Webb