Architecture

ParkedBench micro-park lets Londoners take five

ParkedBench micro-park lets Lo...
ParkedBench is designed by WMBstudio
ParkedBench is designed by WMBstudio
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ParkedBench is designed by WMBstudio
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ParkedBench is designed by WMBstudio
ParkedBench covers two car parking spaces
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ParkedBench covers two car parking spaces
The bench and base elements of ParkedBench are made of scaffolding boards
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The bench and base elements of ParkedBench are made of scaffolding boards
ParkedBench provides a place for people to sit and relax
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ParkedBench provides a place for people to sit and relax
ParkedBench has a laterally undulating form
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ParkedBench has a laterally undulating form
Fresh Air Squares competition participants were challenged to design modular, portable micro-parks that could replace car parking spaces for anything from a week to one year
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Fresh Air Squares competition participants were challenged to design modular, portable micro-parks that could replace car parking spaces for anything from a week to one year
Competition submissions were also required to improve the local environment and monitor air quality
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Competition submissions were also required to improve the local environment and monitor air quality
ParkedBench has integrated spaces for planting
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ParkedBench has integrated spaces for planting
ParkedBench's spaces for planting are built into the pockets of the bench's curves
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ParkedBench's spaces for planting are built into the pockets of the bench's curves
ParkedBench helps to provide some greenery in the area
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ParkedBench helps to provide some greenery in the area
ParkedBench boasts a mixture of planting
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ParkedBench boasts a mixture of planting
The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square was funded by the TFL Future Streets Incubator
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The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square was funded by the TFL Future Streets Incubator
A further three Fresh Air Square installations are due to be delivered in the London Bridge area over the next 12-18 months
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A further three Fresh Air Square installations are due to be delivered in the London Bridge area over the next 12-18 months
The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square has air quality messaging
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The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square has air quality messaging
The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square has an air quality monitor that is one of a network across London
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The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square has an air quality monitor that is one of a network across London
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A new park in London, UK, may be dwarfed by some of the city's larger and more grandiose green spaces, but it still provides a place for Londoners to take a break. The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square, which takes up just two car parking spaces, has been installed in the London Bridge area of the city.

Designed by WMBstudio, the Tooley Street "parklet" is the result of the Fresh Air Squares competition that was launched in April. Run by area development firm Team London Bridge (TLB) and partners, it challenged participants to design modular, portable micro-parks that could replace car parking spaces for anything from a week to one year. The parklets were also required to improve the local environment and monitor air quality.

Over 60 entries to the contest were received, with three designers shortlisted and invited to present at the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) in June. After offering expert opinions on the submissions in front of a 100-strong audeince, a panel that included representatives from LFA, Southwark Council, Transport for London, the Greater London Authority, Future Cities and TLB judged WMBstudio to be the winner.

Its entry, called ParkedBench, is a long single bench with a laterally undulating form. Covering an area of two parking spaces, it provides a place for people to sit and relax and has spaces for integrated planting in the pockets of the bench's curves. The bench and base elements are made of scaffolding boards.

Fresh Air Squares competition participants were challenged to design modular, portable micro-parks that could replace car parking spaces for anything from a week to one year
Fresh Air Squares competition participants were challenged to design modular, portable micro-parks that could replace car parking spaces for anything from a week to one year

In addition to providing a mini oasis for passersby, ParkedBench, now installed as the Tooley Street Fresh Air Square, has an an air quality monitor that feeds real-time data to an app and website designed by Kings College London. It is one of a number of such air quality monitors that form a network across London.

The Tooley Street Fresh Air Square was funded by the TFL Future Streets Incubator. It was launched on Nov. 20, with delivery to a further three sites in the London Bridge area scheduled for the next 12-18 months.

Sources: Team London Bridge, WMBstudio

View gallery - 15 images
2 comments
Bob Flint
Sitting in and around traffic, not the most attractive place to be considering the noise, fumes, view...
Kie
Agree we B.Flint, I know this area and there's heavy dirty diesel vehicle traffic right next to it, not somewhere I'd want to sit.
Why not put some seats next to the Thames and further from the road?