Bench. Wednesday , January 31st , 2018 - 10:46:09 AM
The most important decision that needs to be made in selecting a bench, or any other type of public space amenity, is whether it is needed and whether it will be used. This requires visiting the area and noting the types of seating that already exist; the types of land uses (e.g., shops, offices, residences) that are along the street; and the potential clientele (e.g., office workers, shoppers) in the area who would be likely to use the benches. Locations where people already sit (on steps, ledges, etc.) should also be noted. This type of on-site observation is important in making decisions about where, how many, and what types of benches are needed.
Comfort is an important factor in designing a bench. But how comfortable a bench needs to be depends on how it will be used. For example, on a shopping street where people will stop briefly with packages, comfort is not as important as in a park where people may spend an entire afternoon. Concern for comfort must be combined with other considerations. For example, in an area where teenagers may sit on the backs of the benches, a bench with large slats, which is stronger, should be used, even though for sitting large slats are less comfortable than smaller ones. The general lesson to be kept in mind is that all factors must be considered together in choosing or designing a bench for a particular location.
Benches should not face each other directly unless they are being used for games. People tend to feel uncomfortable when they sit face to face with a stranger, and will twist around or sit sideways to avoid eye contact. Occasionally, pairs of benches should be placed at a 90 to 120 degree angle, which is good both for conversations and for sitting alone.
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